Sunday, June 24, 2007

'50,000 Iraqi refugees' forced into prostitution

"Most are unwilling to talk, but Zahra, an attractive girl with a bare midriff and tattoos, tells me she's 16. She has been working in this club since fleeing to Syria from Baghdad after the war. She doesn't like it, she says, "but what can we do? I hope things get better in Iraq, because I miss it. I want to go back, but I have to look after my sister". Zahra points to a thin, pubescent girl with long black hair, who seems to be dancing quite happily. Aged 13, Nadia started in the club two months ago."

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6 comments:

Golaniya said...

You know three years ago, or maybe earlier, I volunteered to teach Arabic to rehabbed children, there were two Iraqi girls, they were so beautiful, very smart. They were in the rehab for working as prostitutes.
they were very defensive, but they were the fastest who learned Arabic in my class. I remember that their beauty and their brightness struck me. the rehab administration didn't like them very much.
It is really sad and shameful what's happening to the Iraqi refugees in Syria and in Jordan.

Wassim said...

This rehab, what was it exactly? Also, why didn't the rehab like them if they were just children? I read articles like the above with increasing frequency and I really feel compelled to do something about it.

Golaniya said...

It was at the Youth Rehabilitation Center, you know when those under 18 go to rehab instead of prison.
The girls were 16 or 17 years old, they didn't look like children really, they looked like young ladies, and unlike the rest, they had strong character which made the administration unpleased, i guess. This adds to them being "foreigners" as opposed to the Syrian majority.
They didn't have friends for example.
Honestly I am thinking once I leave Lebanon, and I'm back home, to do something about the Iraqi refugees in syria. I am thinking of a thorough report of interviews maybe, or a short film.
I am not sure what can I do from Lebanon.

Wassim said...

One battle at a time I guess. Let me know what you plan to do, I want to help.

susurrus of the thought... said...

I just hate the way they perceive these girls as typical "prostitutes" in the ME. To them, they're just prostitutes, Iraqi prostitutes. They don't care to question why they are prostitutes or how they became prostitutes. Their arrogance prohibits them from trying to understand as they fear that they might possibly sympathize. and what a shame that would be.

They lack accountability. And as you said, there were no lessons learnt from history, none! We've had refugees stories in neighboring countries for centuries damn it! Remember Iraqi refugees of the Clinton era? Or hold on, even before that, during Bush's father,Bush Senior; in the first Gulf War of '91. Never mind that, what about during the 67 and 48 of Palestine. What about the the war of '82 of Lebanon? Sadly, there are too many to mention. Syria should have learnt from history. After all, they're teaching this history to the kids in their schools, that's what i find ironic. Syria did not learn and the arabs should have provided better support to Syria during its current refugee crisis.

susurrus of the thought... said...

I just hate the way they perceive these girls as typical "prostitutes" in the ME. To them, they're just prostitutes, Iraqi prostitutes. They don't care to question why they are prostitutes or how they became prostitutes. Their arrogance prohibits them from trying to understand as they fear that they might possibly sympathize. and what a shame that would be.

They lack accountability. And as you said, there were no lessons learnt from history, none! We've had refugees stories in neighboring countries for centuries damn it! Remember Iraqi refugees of the Clinton era? Or hold on, even before that, during Bush's father,Bush Senior; in the first Gulf War of '91. Never mind that, what about during the 67 and 48 of Palestine. What about the the war of '82 of Lebanon? Sadly, there are too many to mention. Syria should have learnt from history. After all, they're teaching this history to the kids in their schools, that's what i find ironic. Syria did not learn and the arabs should have provided better support to Syria during its current refugee crisis.