Fouad Hady contemplates a 15-year sentence in a Saddam-era women’s prison cell
Whether under Saddam Hussein’s abysmal regime or in this post-“liberation” era, we tend to think of Iraq in terms of power and its players—mostly leaders and soldiers and mostly men.
Nine years after he fled Baghdad for Australia, Melbourne-based reporter Fouad Hady has helped change that by travelling back to his home country to file long-form reports from the ground for the Dateline program on Australia’s public SBS One channel.
In 2009’s “City of Widows,” Hady first surveys the miserable poverty of Baghdad’s outlying Al-Rashad district before being told of the Saddam-era womens’ prison, some of the cells of which are now occupied by refugees from other areas. Downtown in the city—which is home to 80,000 of Iraq’s 750,000 widows—he finds a burgeoning movement of women in loss.
“Deadly Legacy”—filed last month—finds Hady reporting from Fallujah, which was the site of massive anti-insurgent operations during which American troopes used munitions made with depleted uranium. Hady’s reporting on the city’s astronomical rates of cancer, infant mortality and leukemia speaks for itself.
These two reports are staggering in their eye-level view of some of Iraq’s afflictions before and after Saddam. No matter your position on that war, these should also prove instructive to those clamoring for action against a far more formidable foe like Iran. War against that country would make this look like a game of croquet.
Click to see City of Widows on YouTube
Click to see Deadly Legacy on YouTube…