Women in Iraq have it rough. Many have husbands are missing or dead, so they are responsible for taking care of their families, which means more than just putting food on the table. Sabriyah Hilal Abadi started sleeping with a loaded AK-47 in her bed , but she only used it once, when she thought a stray cat was someone trying to break in. It was recently confiscated by Iraqi soldiers. About 86,000 widows are receiving $40 a month from the government, but it’s difficult for aid organizations and government agencies to help more because funds are lacking. Plus, it’s hard to do social work when you’re busy fearing for your life.
Perhaps the saddest part about Sabriyah’s story is that she had such high hopes when U.S. troops entered the country in 2003. She had seen an American news story showing a cat being rescued from a sewage pipe, where it was stuck: “If those people are so good to the animals,” she said, “I was expecting good things.” [Washington Post]