Friday, June 8, 2007

Who is Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi?

Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi (August 19, 1991 – March 12, 2006) was a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who lived in the village of Mahmoudiyah southeast of Baghdad who was gang-raped, killed and burned, by American troops. Hamza, her parents and her younger sister were shot and killed in their home in Mahmoudiyah on or around March 12, 2006. A discharged U.S. serviceman, Pfc. Steven D. Green, was arrested and charged on July 3, 2006 with raping and killing Hamza and killing her father Qassim Hamza Raheem, 45, her mother Fakhriya Taha Muhasen, 34, and her seven-year-old sister, Hadeel Qassim Hamza. Initial details published by American media reported that Abeer Qassim Hamza was 25 years old, and that the others killed were her husband and child, details which were incorrect."


Spread the word about setting up Candle-Light Vigils for Abeer to your family, friends, religious communities, and campuses.

We should think about this young girl and honor her memory on the day she would have turned 16, if only she wasn't murdered. Imagine where her and other Iraqi women would have been today if they weren't murdered. I could imagine Abeer in school (if the schools were still or are still functioning, of course), preparing perhaps to attend college in the hopes of bettering her society. Or maybe she would be at home, eating with her family or reading a poem. She would be a living, breathing, human being. But she was murdered.

On August 19th, 2007, let's join together wherever we are and remember her in our various communities. Let's not only honor the life of Abeer Hamza but remember the plight of, unfortunately, so many Iraqi girls wounded, raped, and murdered during this increasingly bloody U.S. occupation of Iraq.