Iraqi Orphans A Tragic Reality Of An Occupied Country

Thursday, June 12 2003 @ 12:01 pm UTC

BAGHDAD, June 12 ( – Fleeing from an orphanage that had been looted after the U.S.-led invasion of the country, she wandered in Baghdad streets until she was raped by some armed men.

The 15-year-old Zeinab now wonders about the fate of an embryo in her womb; yet, no one, including the U.S. occupation forces in charge of the occupied Iraq, has the answer.

In an interview with, Zeinab started to recall her painful memories, “After looters broke into the orphanage, I fled but never knew where to go or what my destiny would be. More than 100 girls fled with me, each has gone her own way. I remained alone for 3 nights.” “While wandering along Baghdad streets in search of food, I was kidnapped by four armed people, who raped and beat me hard. I’m pregnant now and I don’t know what the fate of my son would be,” she added.

“I sleep in a boat along Tigris River and suffer severe pain in my abdomen. People insult me and make fun of me. Sometimes I hear harsh words.”

“What is my guilt? I’m a victim of those who raped me. I shouted loudly but people never rescued me, as the criminals were armed. Why should I pay the price of their recklessness and criminality? I have no place to go to, nor do I have money to buy food,” she said in tears.

Zeinab is not the only victim of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq since the beginning of the U.S.-led occupation. Both Americans and looters broke into several orphanages and drove orphans out.

“The U.S. troops drove us out of Dar El-Rahma orphanage. We have no relatives. Since then, I’ve been begging in the streets, and people sometimes give me food,” Asaad, 11, told

“At night, I sleep near a hotel because I am very scared, particularly after a gang kidnapped my roommate Mostafa. I don’t know where they took him or what they did to him,” he added.

“I deal in drugs on behalf of a man called Abdel Wahab Abu Zaman, and in return, he gives me money to buy food and tranquilizers that help me sleep,” Adel, 13, told us on condition we give him some food.

Buying Children

On this issue, head of the Iraqi Society for Social Sciences Dr. Ihsan Mohamed Al-Hassan said that the community and the state are responsible for the vagrancy of those children.

“If each person working in those orphanage had accompanied two of those children to a home, this disaster that foretell a human and social problem would have never happened. I’ve been told that street children are sold for sexual purposes and for killing them and selling their organs,” he added.

“The Iraqi police should interfere to prevent such disasters. Religious people should guide our youth to help avoid such bad circumstances.”

“The country have suffered lately severe pains during the war, including the daily phenomenon of kidnapping boys and girls,” Dr. Khaled Mohiel Din, an Iraqi Islamic law professor, said.

“Absence of laws allows every delinquent to do whatever violations he likes,” he added, underlining the necessity of instituting a national government as soon as possible, rehabilitating the role of the state and paying much attention to children roaming Baghdad streets.

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