IRAQ: Abbas Dawood, “I lost 11 members of my family in less than one year”
Abbas Dawood lost 11 members of his family in less than a year
BAGHDAD, 4 January 2007 (IRIN) - “I’m 29-years-old. I’ve been handicapped since 18 January, 2006, when I lost my leg in an explosion while I was working as a waiter in a Baghdad restaurant.
On the same day I lost my brother Muhammad, who was working with me at the restaurant. He was only 19-years-old and didn’t survive his injuries.
In March of last year, I lost my mother, Suheiya, and my father Dawood. They were killed inside our home. A militia member asked them to leave the neighbourhood but they refused because they were too old. They were shown no mercy and were brutally shot dead.
In addition to all this, I lost my only uncle, Abu Omar, his wife, and their four children, while they were trying to flee the country to Syria. Insurgents stopped them, accused my uncle of being a traitor and shot dead the entire family.
But, life must go on and we find other ways to survive. I’m still a bachelor because my fiancée broke up with me last September after I became handicapped. Since the death of my parents I have been living with my sister Sahar and her husband, but the latest tragedy occurred two weeks ago.
Sahar and her husband were driving to work when their car exploded. Both died instantly. She had 90 percent burns and her husband’s body was found in pieces.
I don’t have anyone now. Neighbours are trying to help me find a place to live because the house was rented and I don’t have money to pay for it, and all my relatives have been killed or are abroad.
Thousands of Iraqis are suffering like me. Lives are being lost due to sectarian violence. The government this week said that 12,000 people died last year but it is a lie because for sure the number is much higher. And if they don’t take urgent action, this year could be the worst for Iraqis.
I’m now an adult orphan, with no one to turn to for help. The sectarian violence is everywhere and I cannot move alone anymore. I hope someone can help me to survive because I would rather die and join my dead family members than go begging for food in the streets.”