Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All This Sun and Very Little Fun.

Another day and I'm sitting here without anything to do. I'm searching for a good channel to watch but as usual, nothing really captures my interest. Sadly, television is the only entertainment women really have and nothing good is on.  It's 120 degrees outside and I'm thankful for the few hours of power a day we get so I feel cool (Baghdad only averaged 5 hours of power per household for the entire month of July.)  But our lives are so drab and boring, even monotonous.
All the luxuries of the west are missing in our democracy. The movie theaters, parks, swimming pools, malls, amusement parks, theaters-even sports stadium for matches or local competitions.  Those with money now leave Iraq for vacation, for shopping, for rest and recuperation.  But for those of us who are just middle-class, and especially the women, we are stuck here, bored out of our minds.  We are not living, we are merely existing.
Of course we can't have such diversions until we fix the infrastructure.  Fix the electricity, the water, the roads, the schools, even the government if such a thing is even possible. I couldn't agree more.
But even if by a miracle those things were fixed, and by another miracle theaters and malls were built, as a woman I still couldn't go there.  In the Muslim/Arab world, women should not go unescorted anywhere, not even with her sister or with a group of friends.  Her reputation will be questioned, people will whisper this or that, neighbors will watch and shake their heads and the rumors will spread, and all for what?  For a woman wanting to go catch a movie with her friends?  Really? 
Some call this tradition, call it our culture, handed down by generation to generation.  I call it cultural poison; it's about control, nothing more, and it limits women.  It has nothing to do with morals or honor.  It is the weakness of men and their need to control women because of that weakness.  It is jealousy and fear.  Men want to keep us in the house, to clean, cook, wash their clothes, to baby them and be their servants. Their property.  It's 2010 and this is still the life for a vast portion of women in the world.  Good God, I can't even walk down to the corner market for an ice cream.
so I flip the channels once again, wondering when this will change, and how.  I flip the channels and see these Western shows and marvel at these women going shopping, going to lunch together, disagreeing with their men and not being afraid of being hit or killed.  I watch these women enjoying their lives.  And I ask; when will it be our turn, us enslaved women in the Middle East?  And how do we make it so?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Can money change mentality?

Millions of dollars spending here in Iraq…where it goes? To unknown projects, unknown people, unknown NGO. Even if it goes to the right hands what has been done yet for women???NOTHING!

Same mentality, same ideological about women because in my opinion money can’t change mentality of people, core of culture, not just those kinds of violence that we know, but binding, curbing her rights.

Can she live in her own? Of course not.

Let me explain this point, I’m not encouraging her to take bad ways or path & I will never do that because I believe in this “freedom is not getting out from morals”, what I’m saying here, can culture let her live on her own self, alone, just like man??? We all know the answer; living her own life doesn’t mean that she will be a bad person or break her morals, It is about self-confident, give her “equality”, we are not slave, we are not property. Still we have distinction between man & woman in workplace, why we don’t have a woman as judge???

-Why we don’t have a prime minster from good women?

In my country (Iraq) women had possessed only marginal ability since 1991 & till now, from sanction time, that forced women to stay at home, because no prepared food at market, there were no bread at market! Our mothers were baking breads, doing tomato paste for food, No chocolates at market, we were making sweets from dates, No medicines for sick people, No good clothes even if there were, were very high price & women’s clothes is much expensive than men’s clothes, So life getting very hard on women shoulders (wives, mothers, sisters…)

Then 2003, changing entered our life our culture not that fast but, we noticed that, most women returned to the work & most them are teachers, Yes, it is good skip but as soon as clash with thick wall of our culture, it has been 7 years from fallen time, women got very little from their rights with new government & forcing lots of barriers in their way, why? Simply, most of open minded people (good mentality) of our people had gone outside Iraq, so who left, those who are coming from rural areas, who are uneducated, who are tribes & women in tribes never show up just staying at house & let me say close minded people according to women…

I can remember one man said “Why should woman go to work, she should stay at home, raising children, because she belongs there!” do you know who was? Saddam Hessian, the ex-president of Iraq. So, president of  Iraq talked about women in that way; instead of educating people that women is equal to men  & have rights just like men, What can we expected from ordinary people to think about women if president of Iraq thought about women like that???

Again, money can’t change all that…what is the solution then?

_ Solution is women should help themselves first, then we should raise our voice to our sisters in west countries ask for their supports we don’t need money we need links, trust links, exchanging programs, training centers & last but not least, media should take the role too to educate our people…