Sunday, May 11, 2008

Women In Iraq Step Up To Defend Their Country

Some good news the mainstream media won't report:

YUSUFIYAH, Iraq — Entisar Yossif Yaqub’s closest brush with the terror that has paralyzed Iraq came a year ago.

She and her husband were on the road when a car full of masked men forced them to pull over. The couple were forced to get into the car with their armed kidnappers, driven to a house and questioned for three hours while blindfolded.

The men accused them of being members of the al-Qaida terror group, and when her blindfold was removed, she saw a long knife sitting on a table next to the Quran.

Their kidnappers eventually let Yaqub and her husband go. But she was furious.

“I want to fight them,” Yaqub said Thursday through a translator. “These people can attack civilians and cause trouble for them. I want to fight back against them.”

That’s why, when the Iraqi army and American soldiers offered her a chance to do something to keep her town safe, she grabbed the chance.

Now — under the guidance of five women soldiers from Fort Bragg — she is learning to supervise the first unit of the Daughters of Iraq.

It’s a program with several aims. One is to provide a force that can work with Iraqi soldiers and police at checkpoints — a force that can search other women without offense in a culture with strong taboos about men touching women. Another is to provide opportunities for women who need the money. And, at least for the American soldiers providing guidance to the Daughters of Iraq, this is a chance to show that Iraqi women can do more than their traditional roles.

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