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Medea Benjamin Headshot

Father's Day for Iraqis?

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Fathers the world over take pride in their ability to nurture and provide for their family. They work hard to secure a bright and prosperous future for their children. We honor them with a special day to celebrate their dedication and devotion.

Imagine what it's like for a father who is unable to assure his children of an education, of new clothes on a birthday, a picnic in the park, or even tomorrow's meal because he is forbidden employment. Instead, he is forced to spend idle hours and days confined to a small apartment, in fear of deportation and separation from his family.

"...why are we paying the price? Where is humanity? I lost my father and we buried my daughter. Where is humanity? Every passing day and night we sit and cry and scream. Now I find my wife is speaking to herself all day long... What do I do now? I am living on handouts."
Sanin, father of 3 daughters, including a 14-year-old who died soon after arriving in Jordan

Without employment, these fathers are unable to provide for their families. This, together with the insecurity of refugee life, poor living conditions, and dwindling personal resources, are the harsh realities that rob many Iraqi refugee fathers of their sense of purpose and worth and lead inevitably to over-riding hopelessness and despair.

"I am living in exile and cannot provide for my children. I worry about their education all the time. I don't what to do. I am not up to the task."
Sa'ad, paraplegic and father of 2

And let us not forget the millions of Iraqi children who will not celebrate Father's Day because their fathers have been killed as a result of the US-led invasion and occupation of their country. "My father used to bring us everything and play with us. He was always urging us to study. When he died, I started helping my mother with household chores. I don't let her get tired. I work odd jobs to collect money for living. I don't want my mother and sister suffering so I became their father." Yousif, age 14 Collateral Repair Project helps Iraqi refugee families attain self-sufficiency by funding micro-projects in which they can establish small home-based businesses. At CODEPINK we made a short video to bring attention to the devastation of 5 million Iraqi refugees and encourage you to send help in honor of your Father this weekend.

CODEPINK has created an opportunity to help.

Honoring Father's Day....