Michael's Dispatches

Jungle Baby of Borneo

1 Comment 26 May 2009

This friendly youngster was locked in a cage in Brunei.

She had intelligent, curious eyes.

She will never know freedom.

I went into a village in Iraq some years ago, and heard stories of how Saddam’s army came in, killed a lot of people and took all the pretty girls.  The pretty girls were never seen again.  I recall that the people of the village thought the girls had been sold and were still alive.  They didn’t know where, but the people thought their daughters and sisters might have ended up in the Middle East, or Africa.  Maybe there were records in Baghdad.  The villagers were very friendly to the American soldiers, and served us all a large meal.  Sometimes I still wonder what happened to those girls.

Borneo Bird

The local people catch the pretty birds, and the ones with pretty songs.

The people use traps to capture the birds.  One trap is made by smearing glue onto a branch, and when the bird goes for the bait, that’s it.

This fellow was kept not for his looks or song, but for supper.

Ignorance must be bliss.

I don’t know if there is any truth to the following website, but I know that the villagers who told me about the missing girls seemed very credible to me, and to the American soldiers.

Kurdishmedia

Did he create a sensation by insisting that Egypt should come clean and investigate its criminal role in collaborating with Iraqi Ba’thists in trafficking innocent Anfaled Kurdish girls for brothels in Egypt? Even if this issue is no more than an allegation, isn’t it worth investigating? And who should follow up and raise this issue if not Kurdish leaders themselves? If you do not defend your dignity, people are right to think you are a people without dignity. But this issue is not in fact just an allegation. The names of 18 Kurdish girls between the ages 14 and 27 sold to Egyptians have been revealed in a secret Iraqi document. And the surviving members of their families have validated the names.

These are the names of the girls and women and their age:

- Galawej Adel Rahim (age 14)
- Chiman Nazim Abas (age 22)
- Leyla Abas Jawhar (age 21)
- Lamiah Nazim Omar (age 19)
- Bahman Shukir Mustafa (age 26)
- Khusaran Abdulla Tawfiq (age 20)
- Qadriya Ahmed Ibrahim (age 17)
- Golmalek Ibrahim Ali (age 19)
- Khawla Ahmed Fakhradeen (age 25)
- Esmat Kader Aziz (age 24)
- Najiba Hassan Ali (age 18)
- Hasiba Amin Ali (age 29)
- Shiler Hassan Ali (age 20)
- Shukriya Rustem Mohammad (age 27)
- Habiba Hidayat Ibrahim (age 15)
- Kuwestan Abas Maulud (age 26)
- Serwa Othman Karam (age 17)
- Suza Majeed (age 22)

Kurdishmedia.com which first published this news in English said the following about this issue on 11 August 2003:

“The document proves the Arab dimension of the Anfal campaign, thereby raising several questions which could place additional strain on Kurdish-Arab relations. Were other Arab states involved in the campaign and did they help to conceal the evidence?

Until these questions are answered to the satisfaction of the Kurdish people, Kurdish-Arab relations should be placed on hold.

Kurds should not deal with any Arab state, least of all with Egypt.”


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Wayne Hutton · 10 years ago
    Reading this Kurdishmedia article, I was confused as to when this occurred, especially with your reference to it being credible to the US soldiers. The Anfal Campaign was twenty years ago, 1986 to 1989. The context of this article seems to imply these young women were recently sold into Egyptian slavery. With the slaughter of 50,000 to 100,000 people by the Iraqi's in this campaign, I can understand that they would also stoop to inflicting the horrors of sex slavery on young women. I'm surprised there aren't more names in this list. Please understand I do not in anyway dismiss the very real desire that these women should be found and returned to their families and nation if at all possible, but if this happened 20 years ago what relevance does it have in your (always interesting) "current affairs" dispatches. If this "Anfaling" of young women is a recent occurrence who is behind it, and what is being done about it?

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