Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
CALIFORNIA PEACE ALLIANCE/
CAMPAIGN FOR A U.S. DEPARTMENT OF PEACE
Join Our Free
Second Monday Telephone Conference on 06/11/12
CITIZENS REACH OUT
Iraq and The Real Toll of War
June 11, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Call-in Number 1-916-209-4534 Access Code 3698002#
This call is open to all. Please join us.
There are five million orphans in Iraq as a result of early sanctions and the war that followed. Since the U.S. invasion began on March 20, 2003, two and a half million Iraqis – ten percent of the population -- fled their home country. Millions of Iraqis have lived with war and occupation for these years. For the orphaned children, there is little hope of a normal life. The significant loss of property, family and lifelong ties to places of origin will never be recovered by most of these victims. What has happened to the victims of loss and war?
Ruth Friend, an organizer of the Ruth Group speakers bureau in Marin County, California, started that organization in 2003 to talk about the Iraq war and its consequences. After bringing an Iraqi child to the United States for medical care, the group met other Iraqi refugees who are fast becoming our CA neighbors in the Bay Area, Sacramento and San Jose. Ruth and others then started Citizens Reach Out, which formed to address and alleviate the suffering caused by war, and created the “What Happened?” project to archive stories of innocent Iraqi civilians.
What has life been like for the 29 million Iraqis living with war? One recent Iraqi immigrant to the U.S. said, “We are a people who have been driven mad by loss.” The “What Happened?” project is designed to bring a voice to the people of Iraq, to capture their experiences in their own words, before memories fade. With strict confidentiality of names and faces, the project is collecting revealing narratives of what took place for the citizens of Iraq as the U.S. military moved in and Iraqi lives became increasingly disrupted and endangered. These narratives fill the information gap about the real toll of war by illuminating the fear and depression of living through armed conflict and the constant struggle to stay alive within one’s own community. They also reveal the confusion and loss of friendships, as communities break apart because of artificial divisions created by military and societal forces. _____________________________________________________
“Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and painstaking work of statecraft, which sees peace, not war, as being inevitable … Let us work for a world where someday war becomes archaic.”
– Dennis Kucinich, “Prayer for America,” Speech Delivered 02/17/02 – Before the Invasion of Iraq
Northern California State Coordinator
The Peace Alliance/
Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace
Join this historic effort to create a culture of peace.