ACTION ALERT: A Mother's Day Appeal from the Mothers of Iraq and the Mothers of the US
May 11, 2014
For this Mother's Day, we reached out to Iraqi mothers asking if they have a message to give to American mothers. Some brave Iraqi mothers shared powerful messages, full of love, hope and pain -- a pain that only someone who lost a son or a daughter to war can understand.
ACTION ALERT: A Mother's Day Appeal
(May 8, 2014) -- For this Mother's Day, we reached out to Iraqi mothers asking if they have a message to give to American mothers. Some brave Iraqi mothers shared powerful messages, full of love, hope and pain -- a pain that only someone who lost a son or a daughter to war can understand. Here is one:
"My sister, American Mother.
I say sister because we are sisters in humanity and we both lived through hard times imposed on us by your government under many false perceptions to justify its invasion of my country. What we lived through as mothers during and after this invasion took the lives of hundreds of thousands of our children….
We pray to God that you don't have to go through such pain, and we hope that you, and history, will never forget what your government did to our country for no reason but to destroy it and exploit its resources."
-- May Al Sharbati
Please take a moment now to send your own message to an Iraqi mother -- let them know we have not forgotten their pain and sorrow.
One of the Iraqi women who wrote a message is Sundus Saleh Shaker, a single mother of 5 children. CODEPINK is supporting Sundus in her pursuit of justice with a class-action lawsuit against the Bush administration for war crimes.
Read the letter from Sundus and those from other Iraqi mothers on our special Mother's Day tribute site to Iraqi mothers. Help us spread their voices far and wide by sharing the page with your friends and family.
Help us work for peace and for justice for the Iraqi people. And remember the original Mother's Day proclamation, a call to end war that said: "We women of one country
will be too tender of those of
another country to allow our sons
to be trained to injure theirs."
In celebration of all the mothers of the world,
Alli, Cayman, Farah, Ikram, Holly, Janet, Jodie, Kate, Lisa, Medea, Nancy, Sara, Sergei and Tighe
Mother's Day Letter from an Iraqi Single Mother
Sundus Shaker Saleh
Dear American Mother,
I wish you a good morning, if you are reading this in the morning, and I wish you a good evening if you are reading this in the evening.
I am an Arab, eastern mother from Iraq. Today, I stand before you and share with you your day and give you my warmest regards. I may be far away physically, but my spirit is with you and I imagine myself sitting beside you.
Allow me to first start off with sending you greetings on this day, before my emotions take over my words, because I want to win your heart and express to you my most sincere feeling: allow me to wish you a very happy Mother's Day, and blessed returns, wherever you may be, whether in your home or anywhere around the world.
Allow me to give you this letter, to hear it if you are around, or to read it if you are not. In Arabic, the word “mother” is made of four letters; they might be small in number, but they are large in who they describe and great in what they mean.
To you I say, every mother is a home, every mother is a home, every mother is a home. And the Creator (almighty) was the first to discover and learn your value and how important you are to all humanity. He created Eve and sent her down to earth to complete a noble message of motherhood and be proud of her children and their children after that for many generations after.
For you, oh, American mother, this earth you walk over lightly like the raindrops fall over it and turn it green, may a heart never learn to be far from meeting you, and you have in my heart a memory of a day in the future to meet you.
And once again, I remind you and say every mother is a home, and if a woman was not a home then we all would be orphans in this world.
And I know, someone else will ask me this question: Do you have any children? Which one is your favorite? And my answer is yes, I have five children, four boys and a daughter and they are all dear to my heart, each and every one of them. I love the youngest until he grows older, the ill until he is healed and the traveler until he returns home. And my daughter, she stands for all that a woman is and a mother would be proud of.
I always remind my children of this: never forget an eye that stayed up the night watching you sleep soundly and safely, and never neglect a soul that exists to protect you. I ask you to never desert what lies in your chest, beating with love, never tires from loving and once you ignore it a mother's heart bleeds with pain. If you know where your heart is you will know where the love is.
I know that one day an American mother will ask me: Is your mother still around? And how much do you love her? And to that I answer yes! I do have a mother and I love her very much.
I love the ocean because it is as deep as my mother's love,
I love the mountain because it stands proud like my mother,
I love the sun because its rays shine from my mother,
I love the moon because it glows like my mother.
Yes, I love this life because my mother brought me to it, that's who my mother is and that's the kind of love she gave and taught me.
I miss my mother dearly, and she lives far away from me. I miss her warmth and compassion and how I miss throwing myself in her arms and share with her my worries and what sorrows I have lived through, and she in return hears me, comforts me and gives me advice and I follow it to the word!
This war that was brought on us tore me and my mother apart, it drifted me away from her, but she is always near to me in my heart and I will always long for that day she and I will be together again soon.
For our hearts are homes, homes that carry hopes ended with disappointments and dreams that never saw the light. In our hearts there is nothing left but the sighs of longing to be reunited again.
I ask from you, oh American mother, to pray that I will be with my mother again, for my son to return home to me and for every mother that got separated from her child to be with them again like the sweet grains of sugar that melts in the love and compassion of their mothers, like the sun that shines after a long, dark night.
I thank you for your love and your passion, and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address you on this day, and I conclude my words by asking all mothers to hold her children and embrace them warmly after she returns home from celebrating her day, for that warm embrace is what true love lies. For the love that a mother's heart is occupied with her children's love.
I thank you once again and I wish you many happy returns on your day. And if I live long enough, I pray that I will be celebrating your day with you in person with all my heart.
Mother to Mother on Mother's Day
To all the mothers in Iraq
From one mother to another, I can only say please forgive us, for the killing of your children and the devastation of your country, for your pain and losses.. No words can express how I feel before you brave women.
I can only hope that some day we all will see and enjoy permanent peace in this world. And thank you for accepting these letters, not everyone wanted a war. Most Americans want a peaceful relation with all the countries of the world. We are peaceful people. Governments decide on war.
Much love to you all.
My Iraqi sisters
I am English and live in the UK. I am, also, a mother and grandmother. When an invasion of your country was threatened, two and a half million of us occupied the streets of London, begging the offenders to withdraw the threat. We were men, woman and children.
We were ignored. Our hearts broke for you all and we continue to weep at the many reports of atrocities in your land. The people of the UK did not want our politicians to attack you. God bless you all and be with you in your terrible sorrows. Let us hope for the future and for the involvement of more and more women in the policy making of our world. It is time.
It is with sorrow and determination that I write. A deep sorrow for the pain that the criminal actions of my country has caused all of you.
I have worked for peace all of my adult life, traveling to your country as a Witness for Peace in the spring of 2005. I am determined to keep witnessing for peace. Sometimes that does not seem like much. But my promise is to keep working so that no more lives will be taken in war.
I am sorry for what my government did to your family and country. I never supported the invasion or war. I stopped working for government contractors and actively speak out against the US-waged wars.
In deepest sorrow, with deepest respect
Dear Mothers of Iraq,
How many times I have thought of you since the first protest I attended, in July of 2002, in Union Square, San Francisco, in protest of the threat of US war against your country.
How many tears I shed all through the terrible spring of 2003, watching the carnage, hating the propaganda on US televisions, despising all who brought this curse to both our countries, raging that I could not save a single life, Iraqi or American.
With my head bowed over a map of Iraq, learning the names of your cities and provinces, I thought of you. Lying weeping in my bed, watering my garden, listening to the radio, working for CODEPINK, protesting in DC, walking for peace on a monthly walk on the Golden Gate Bridge, in silence and with my voice raised, I thought of you.
I think of you now, in this moment, caring for your living children and grieving for your dead ones, giving of yourself as mothers do. Your courage and dignity are inspiration to me, and to many. May you be comforted and blessed. I will always think of you all -- in deepest sorrow, with deepest respect.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.