Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Social consequences of being a victim of war

‘I hope to have plastic surgery, I hate the way I look, I feel embarrassed What is the future going to provide now that I am not myself anymore.’

Wasal Joni shows the burns she sustained when a missile crashed into her home in Basra. She is sponsored by MSF for reconstructive surgery in Amman, Jordan.

In 2005, Wasal Joni was in her house near the Basra airport when a missile hit. Wasals’ entire body was burned except for her face. “I don’t know who shot the missile, who was responsible because if any of the political militias launch missiles to attack the British at their base, the British have sophisticated weapons that return the missile or something like that,” she explains. She doesn’t know and it makes no difference now, she is scarred not only on her body but in her heart and soul.

Wasal’s husband divorced her and remarried, leaving her with 2 children to care for while she herself is in excruciating pain, and recovery. She has very little confidence left, she wants to go back and be herself again, she wants her life back. Wasals heart shines, her eyes are so full of beauty I can’t really express how I felt listening to Wasals story.

She told me of the Basra situation. The Mafia Militias, the insecurity, the kidnapping, no one buys anything new it will just be stolen or you can be killed for it, the collective punishment, the shooting of civilians, the curfews, the ever present suspicions, any flame or light can be a catalyst for an attack, another missile entering her home. She was happy the British were there, “they were not as mean as the American Army or the Iraqi Army.”

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