"Everyday" Life in Iraq

Iraqis See the Little Things Fade Away in War’s Gloom
Published: October 29, 2006

BAGHDAD, Oct. 28 — The things the women missed were almost too small to notice at first.

Simple numbers and dates began to elude their memories. They were hugging their children less. Past pleasures, eating and listening to music, began to feel flat. They were shouting at their husbands like army commanders.

Small as they seemed, these scraps of life were the effects of the war as discussed by four Iraqi women on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in a women’s center in Baghdad.

Their stories began with a familiar theme: the shrinking lives of middle-class families in the capital. Social clubs have emptied out. Weddings have been sparsely attended. But as the circle has become smaller, and as they focus intensely on just staying alive, they said, even the basics are being stripped away.

“All the elements of society have been dismantled,” said Fawsia Abdul al-Attiya, a sociologist and a professor at Baghdad University. “You are afraid because you are a woman, a man, a Sunni, a Shiite, a Kurd. All these things start to change society.”

Read it here.

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