Skip to comments.Woman engineer vows to change face of impoverished Baghdad township
Posted on 08/05/2003 4:57:54 PM PDT by cc2k
Baghdad, Iraq Press, August 4, 2003 After languishing in Saddam Hussein's jails for ten years, Fatima Hassan is determined to improve life for one of Iraq's poorest and most oppressed cities.
The former dictator's secret police snatched Hassan from her home in al-Sadr city, formerly al-Thawra, in the early 1980s and locked her in a cell where "I was tortured and mistreated in a barbaric way."
She recalls the minute details of her tragedy in the prison. She remembers the faces and names of her torturers and the implements of torture they used in their interrogations.
Today, she is a member of al-Sadr City Council and has vowed to dedicate her life to the low-income city with which she has been in love since childhood.
"My aim is to decrease the discrepancy between our city and other areas of Baghdad as a first step," she told Iraq Press in an interview.
Al-Sadr, home to 2.1 million, is Baghdad's poorest district. Its restive people rose sporadically against the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein.
"Our municipality suffers from all aspects characteristic of economic and social depression. There is a huge gap between our city and other areas of Baghdad," she said.
For example, she said, there are 3,000 computers in the al-Jamiaa (University) district in Baghdad where 150,000 people live.
"There less than 1,500 computers for the 2.1 million people in our city. That is less than one computer for each 1,000 people," she said.
Hassan said al-Sadr City is the world's most densely populated area. "An average of five people live in one room in our city while there is one room for one person in al-Mansour District," she said.
"The figures we have gathered about our city are among the worst in the world. Our situation is harder than the poor districts in poverty-stricken countries of South America," she said.
The city's 2.1 million people have no parks or open space. The maze of one-story houses are only separated by narrow lanes inundated with untreated water.
"A lot of injustice was done to our city when compared with other areas of Baghdad. Our aim is to redress the situation and provide decent living conditions for the people," she said.
Hassan is a new breed of Iraqi women determined to occupy their rightful place in the society in the wake of the collapse of the regime dictator Saddam Hussein.
It's good to see some women active in the town councils and the political scene in Iraq now. I doubt I'll agree with this woman's politics on every topic, but it's still good to see her getting involved. Hopefully there are more women like her getting involved in the political scene in liberated Iraq.
- Howard Dean
No, because the practice of medicine is inherently good, whereas the practice of war is inherently bad. His logic, not mine.
I've been trying to post as many stories as I can find from Iraqi and Arabic origin news sources. I think those sources are less clouded by a blind anti-Bush, anti-American hatred that seems to show in all the AP and Reuters (and other Western media) reports.
Click on the keyword "Iraq" and look for other posts from me if you want to see more.