Iraqi women

Um Khalid

Um Khalid has an ideal situation for an Iraqi refugee. She’s an engineer working in the private sector who’s married to a Jordanian Sunni. She had a satisfying life living in Amman, Jordan that was quite balanced between caring for her kids and working in their family “water purification device” business. However, as prices got higher in Jordan following “The Kuwait War” and her longing for her homeland got more intense, her family moved to Baghdad. Even during the sanctions, they did well economically since they had their own company. Those who were working for the government at that time had their salaries reduced to a pittance, which of course led to widespread corruption. Read more »

Posted in Iraq, Iraqi Refugee Women's Project, Iraqi women, women | 1 Comment »


Rawa is Um Rami’s oldest daughter. Her older brother is 19, she is 16 and her other brothers and sisters are eight and eleven. I met her while at Zahra’s house one day when she and her mother dropped by. While Um Rami and Zahra were working out some plans, Rawa began plying me with questions about English. Her English and my Arabic were at about the same level, so we had a great time trying to understand each other and exchanging vocabulary. Read more »

Posted in education, Iraq, Iraqi Refugee Women's Project, Iraqi women | 2 Comments »


Yesterday, I visited with Jamila, the 61 year-old mother of Ali*, an ex-translator for the US military. Jamila is very unique, both in her creative personality as well as the fact that both of her parents and also her grandfather (born in 1900) were well educated.  She was at a clinic when she met the sister of her future husband. The sister reported back that she had found a suitable marriage candidate. His family further investigated her family and decided that they were suitable, so he paid her a visit to ask for her hand. Everyone agreed because he was also educated and seemed kindly. Over the course of the next 3 years, they got to know each other better when he would pay visits to them. They never did go out together until after they were married. Unlike in Afghanistan, it would have been fine for her to change her mind at this late date and back out of the marriage. She told me that in the Koran it says that the woman must also agree to the marriage. Read more »

Posted in Iraqi Refugee Women's Project, Iraqi women | 1 Comment »