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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Voices from Iraq: Um Samir
BBCArabic.com spoke to six Iraqi women about their lives in the country following the war and their hopes for the future.

Civil servant, 22

Engineer, 31

Um Samir:
Housewife, 51
Student, 18

Teacher, 36

Student, 17

Um Samir

The last war was not as big a catastrophe for our people and for my family as the Kuwait war, which brought us much pain.

And despite the fact that electricity is in short supply and that there is fear because of the security situation, our material situation has improved a lot.

The income of my sons, who have been working as blacksmiths since graduating from university, has begun to increase.

This is a general trend. The income of Iraqis in general, especially those working as civil servants, has seen a rise.

With the increased income, we have begun to buy household goods to replace the old ones.

In our case, we bought a new television set to replace the 25-year-old one we used to have!

Satellite television, which was banned under the previous regime, has also entered our homes.

Access to the internet too, which was a dream to many, has become available.

All of these changes took place within three months of the end of the war.

And now, a year and a half later, we have bought a new car.

This was something that we could only dream about during Saddam's rule.

We took our new car to northern Iraq, a beautiful place to visit during the summer.

Again, this was something we couldn't do before, because the borders between the northern region and the rest of Iraq were sealed off for 12 years.

My sons are now engaged to be married and I am busy preparing for their wedding ceremonies.

The thing that worries us is the security situation, but when peace returns Iraqis will be able to experience happiness.

As we say here: "God is benevolent and everything is possible."

Send us your comments on Um Samir's views using the form below.

I am interested in Um Samir's story as she is of an age that knew Iraq before the sanctions. I would like to know from her if life was better prior to the sanctions than it is now, and how it differs in the three eras.
Pamela, New Zealand

I'm glad to hear someone has seen an improvement in their situation! Security has to involve the people of this country. You have to band together and turn in the kidnappers, looters, and criminals that have caused so much trouble!
Carolyn, Newbern, Tn, USA

So good to hear from Iraqi women from whom we always hope to hear the "voice of reason". I pray for peace in Iraq. I pray for no more violence and I pray that the foreign boys and girls go home safely... soon.
Mabel Massler, Liechtenstein

I am so glad to hear directly from an Iraqi that there has been good things happening for Iraqi people and families in the effort to free Iraq from a dictator.
Linda Stolle, Waco, Texas, USA

Material situation has improved and security situation got bad. I don't know how the Iraqi people give priority to the material over security.
Obaid Bin Waleed, USA


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