The widows of Falluja
Abu Waleed had a bad rendezvous with destiny; he lost his two legs in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack in Falluja, and his wife – Um Waleed, suddenly found herself responsible for providing her family’s daily requirements. She worked hard toward her education degree during afternoon classes at Falluja Education Institute, and graduated as quickly as possible to start a career as a school teacher in Falluja, that nowadays offers her a monthly salary essential for her family's life to continue.
There are other women like Um Waleed; victims of the difficult circumstances that Falluja city has experienced. The number of women in Falluja that were widowed after 2003 is at least 5000. These figures imply that since April 2003 until February 2008, 86 women a month (almost 3 women a day) were widowed, according to a recent survey conducted by the Employment Center in the city in coordination with Falluja’s City Council.
"My husband was a taxi driver, and due to an IED explosion, he lost his two legs, and his car was totally devastated; thus we lost all our sources of living in that incident," Um Waleed told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI), adding "It was my turn to be responsible for my family's living; the situation was rigid, but I did not step aside watching. In addition to having four kids going to school, I joined afternoon classes at the Falluja Education Institute where I earned the degree that enabled me to work as a school teacher."