You’re invited to join a very special conversation, Peace Through Health in Iraq, a roundtable discussion on Thursday, March 5, and 8pm AST. The discussion is hosted by President Carter’s Forum on Women: Religion, Violence, and Power, and will feature Dominican Sisters Durstyne and Nadia from the United States, as well as our own founder Jeremy Courtney, and Dr. Firas al Kubaisy.
You can register for free, through the Forum on Women website here.
The truck was conspicuous when it rolled into a Kirkuk neighbourhood—already tall, it was piled even higher with colourful sleeping mats. Heaters, blankets, food, and rugs were stacked inside for families displaced by the war with ISIS. Once parked, a crowd gathered. For the kids, the delivery meant a little excitement. For their parents, the delivery meant a lot of relief.
This week the truck rolled into Kirkuk, but on a different day it might have been a neighbourhood in Baghdad, Anbar, or Diyala. If those cities sound familiar, it’s because they’ve been in the news. They are the cities where much of the violence in Iraq is centred. They are the same cities where our partners at Iraqi Health Aid Organization choose to serve.
"The international community is increasingly recognizing that gender based violence is a constant feature in conflict situations. In military confrontations, women’s bodies often become one of the terrains of war. Physical, emotional and sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls has been used to impose political agendas, humiliate opponents, and destroy entire communities.
Violence against women is not merely a side effect of conflict, but an integral part of it.
The situation that women in Iraq are facing today is a stark illustration of this phenomenon."
Hanin looks impossibly small, sitting on a sleeping mat.
Her dark curly hair and big eyes distract from the signs that she’s unwell. There are red marks on her lips. Her skin shows signs of bruising. Her mother tells us there are white spots in her mouth, though no amount of coaxing convinces Hanin to let us see.
Dr. Ali reads through a thick stack of medical reports—blood tests, mostly. Results show an enlarged spleen and liver. The words “bone marrow” appear on many pages. There is no diagnosis to be found amongst the pages, but it’s clear that this 3-year old girl is sick.
Hanin is far from home, far from the doctors who were investigating the cause of her illness. And her family, displaced because of the war with ISIS, feels farther from answers than ever.
We recently delivered more of the winter boots and coats you’re helping us provide for families. Our truck slid through the mud, stopping in front the windowless, unfinished building where several displaced families live.
Kids ran out, followed by smiling parents, and the unloading began.