Term Paper: Political Activism in Iraq
However, Haifa Zangana, an Iraqi novelist, argues differently. Her documentary City of Widows depicted how the position of Iraqi women has actually deteriorated after the invasion as opposed to before. She discusses the history of Iraq as a country riddled with war and political activism which has not really been allowed to grow on its own and build from within its own cultural and social identities. According to her, as a woman who was born in Iraq and has seen it all first hand, the invasion actually made matters worse with women going from one of the most liberated in the Middle East to those who find themselves losing their loved ones and going through life with children but no one to provide for them (Zangana). A feeling of helplessness enshrouds the women of Iraq as they battle through life within a semi-calm civil war like situation where their husbands may get kidnapped from their very homes with no trace whatsoever. It is estimated that 22,000 Iraqis have gone missing ever since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (Zangana). Such cases are usually ransom oriented and with ransoms ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than a million, the documentary dubs it as a lucrative business. Women have limited certainty of life and security with the police often unable to help or even register a case against the culprits responsible. Apart from the civilian suicide attacks and racial violence this is another matter plaguing the women of Iraq. If a kidnapping does occur or a family member goes missing, the women are forced to do their own search, travelling from police station to police station, looking up hospital registries and Missing Person centers. This scenario is very effective in stripping the women of their rights to enjoy life and live peacefully (Zangana).
What can thus be seen is a war situation similar to the Vietnam scene as the U.S seems to have stepped into a marsh where from it is not only finding it difficult to extract success out of but