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Voices from IraqA People's History, 2003-2009$
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Mark Kukis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156929

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156929.001.0001

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Paths to Safety

Paths to Safety

(p.148) Paths to Safety
Voices from Iraq

Mark Kukis

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, Maysoon Mahdi and Usra J'bara Hadi recount their experiences during the Iraq war. A mother of three, Maysoon Mahdi has worked since 1986 as an expert on livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture but was fired for alleged political dissidence in 1990. The entire family was blacklisted by the former government and struggled to survive financially through the years up to the invasion, which brought hopes of a normal life again for a time. The family home, however, sat in an area of northwestern Baghdad that was notorious as a killing ground for Sunni militants during the ensuing sectarian violence. Usra J'bara Hadi is a mother of six sons and the matriarch of a Shi'ite sharecropper family who used to live on a plot of land near Salman Pak, a rural area south of Baghdad. The region became a haven for Sunni militants as violence rose across Iraq.

Keywords:   invasion, Maysoon Mahdi, Usra J'bara Hadi, Iraq war, Sunnis, militants, sectarian violence, Shi'ites, Salman Pak, Iraq

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