International Women’s Day: five wishes of women in the Middle East
13 March 2012

Iraqi women refugees express hope for a future of stability and achievement. Amman, Jordan. (Zerene Haddad/JRS)
I want to see my husband and children at their best: intellectually, psychologically, and health-wise.
Amman, 13 March 2012  Welcomed as guests but not allowed to work legally, Iraqi urban refugees in Syria and Jordan dream of stability themselves and their families. Though their children receive an education, many unemployed parents wait up to eight years to be resettled. Five Iraqi women sat down with JRS Middle East to share their hopes for an unknown future.

Accomplishing something for myself. I've done a lot of things in my life: I‘ve studied, I've a family and I've successfully raised my children, but I haven't accomplished anything for myself. I dream of carrying on my studies to become a computer programmer. I would also like to meet my mother, whom I haven't seen for years.

Owning a home and finally settling down. I've had many different jobs over the last 33 years, even as a manager; but until now my rights still haven't been respected. I'm still waiting for my pension from Iraq. I'm always trying to better myself, and I would really like to find a job.

Planning for the future. I dream of psychological stability; I would like for my children to continue their studies and start thinking of the future again. After leaving Iraq, we spent five years in Armenia and my children studied there. We arrived in Syria thinking we would only spend a few months here before moving again, so they stopped attending school. Now we've been here for years.

Stability. For me stability means being able to move and work freely. Like any Iraqi and Arab, I dream of stability for my country, for Syria, for the Arab world, but I know that is difficult. I want to see my husband and children at their best: intellectually, psychologically, and health-wise. I dream of having a house of my own.

Keeping their values. My husband is ill and his health is deteriorating. We've raised our children well, and I hope they can retain their family values if we have to move to another country. They're my only family; my parents are dead and my siblings are in Iraq. I don't think or dream of Iraq because the situation there is getting worse.

Press Contact Information
Zerene Haddad
+962 79 781 4067