Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dear Faiza,
Thanks so much for sending us your mother's day letter. Your letter was read on the national Mall in Washington DC to the crowd of veterans and military families against the war. Laura Costas, a member of Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out read your letter on the stage and your powerful message was very well received.
(see the attached picture of Laura readingyour letter.)
I have also attached a photo of Raed speaking at the event--he was wonderful!
Thanks again for all your amazing work and I do hope we will meet someday soon.
Best Wishes
On Mothers’ day

It is my honor in this day to talk on behalf of the Iraqi mothers before all American mothers to let you all know the reality of our daily life since the invasion of our country.

I can imagine in these days that your newspapers and magazines and TV channels are full of advertisements about gifts for mothers in their day. Sons and daughters will try to choose the loveliest gift, to submit it in the loveliest moments to their mothers.

In the same time, I want you to imagine the life of Iraqi mothers in these dark days, from the absence of security and the horror they are living with, spending the time worrying about the safety of their families, to the hard life under the lack of electricity, clean water, fuel for cooking, medicine for their sick babies, or jobs for their unemployed sons or husbands.

In addition to their suffering from these conditions of their own
families, they are more horrified when they see their neighbor or relative passing through ordeals like the kidnapping of their sons, the death of a family member, the taking of a husband as a detainee by the Iraqi government or the occupation, or the killing by anonymous death squads.

Where is the color of life in the eyes of Iraqi mothers nowadays?
Where can they find hope and beautiful dreams for the future of their children?
How many new widows and orphans do we have now in Iraq?

Iraqi mothers ask You, American mothers, to feel with their suffering.

We, Iraqis and Americans, both have lost our sons and daughters in this war.
Our both countries lost Billions of Dollars that were supposed to be spent on the health and education and happiness of us.
We both hate violence and bloodshed.
We both want peace for our families.

We both are victims of this war.

If they had told you that this war was to bring freedom and happiness for Iraqis, ask them: who is happy now in Iraq?

And if they had told you that this war was to bring democracy, ask them: what kind of democracy Iraqis have with death squads and the everyday bloodshed?

If they had told you that this war was to bring security for American people, ask yourselves: what do the Iraqi people have to do with the security of your country?

I was in America for the last two months, and I saw how the government controlled everything in the country to keep it secured, from the Airports to the media, and from controlling the activities of NGOs, to the right to monitor communications of any person.

The American government can control the security of this country from the inside. It does not make sense, then, to say that keeping troops in Iraq is to secure America.

When the occupation forces entered Iraq and disbanded the Iraqi National Army, they left the boarders open to create the chaos inside our country, and create the environment of terrorism in Iraq, until now the civilian Iraqis are the most victimized people because of this war and because of the bad planning of American administration.

If your administration had told you that this war was to improve your economy, you can see the answer in yourselves; after three years, nothing has improved in your economy.

The health sector and the education, are suffering from lack of governmental fund, the gas prices are increasing, the lack of jobs still exist, what has been improved?

Billions of Dollars have disappeared from Iraq, on illusionary contracts and fake deals. Nothing was paid for the reconstruction of our country; nothing was done for the improvement of your economy, where did all of our money and
your money go?

You have to ask your government about this, it is the responsible authority on all mistakes, disasters and everything happened in Iraq since three years.


It is time now for the occupation forces to leave our land.
It is time now for your sons and daughters to come back home.

Let us work together to stop the bloodshed in our country; to stop the killing of our children and your children, to pull the troops now, to stop building military bases, to make the US government stop interfering with the internal affairs of Iraq, to make the US government pay compensation of everything they destroyed and everyone they killed.

Three years of destruction, are more than enough.

Leave Iraq for Iraqis, this is the best favor you can do.

Faiza Al-Araji
Iraqi Civil Engineer
Mother of three sons

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