Sunday, March 2, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 2 Mar 2008

From MNF-I, Sewing School Offers Iraqi Women Skill, Employment Opportunities.

FOB RUSTAMIYAH — Sowing seeds of economic opportunity and prosperity, a vocational technical sewing shop for Iraqi women opened its doors Feb. 23, offering classes at Zafaraniyah Technical Institute.

The grand opening of the sewing school paves the way for about 100 Iraqi women in Zafaraniyah seeking employment. In addition to offering steady work, the school offers students a skill they can use elsewhere in the future, commented Capt. Kevin Dagon, a Butler, Ill., native, who serves as a fire support officer with 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

“It is very good that we found this job today,” said Antisar, a sewing student and widow with four sons.

Antisar attested to the importance of her sewing job and expressed pride in having an opportunity to begin a new trade to help support her family. Like many mothers, Antisar said she is trying to provide for the future of her children. One of Antisar’s sons is in medical school and another is studying to become an engineer, she explained.

The sewing shop project helps widows and women with displaced families find work, explained Madeeha Hasan, a council member of the Karada Political District. Putting together the project was difficult, said Hasan, who was in charge of coordinating and planning the sewing shop project. It wasn’t easy to find space for the workshop, she said.

While opening the sewing shop is a small step in the overall effort in Iraq, it is still a very big achievement, Hasan believes.