But in Adhamiya, and all over Baghdad and the rest of Iraq, schools remain open if possible, dedicated to educating Iraqi children for a better life. The Safina Middle School in Adhamiya is a girls’ school in a particularly dangerous area of Baghdad. Raids and mortar attacks such as this one in the Adel/Adil neighborhood last January are also common in Adhamiya.
Violence against schools continues to be condemned, as it was after the January attack, but security is tenuous at best. Although the students interviewed by Alive in Baghdad are desperate to continue school against all odds, many Iraqi children are leaving out of fear for their safety.
Teachers are also becoming increasingly difficult to come by, fleeing for their safety to other countries or leaving their jobs altogether if they cannot. Other teachers report being threatened by students with ties to Iraq’s different militias.
Despite all of these threats and difficulties, students at Safina say they will continue and urge their parents not to move them to a closer school, or one in a potentially safer area, even if security continues to deteriorate. The teachers at Safina pride themselves on continuing their lessons and helping those students to catch up who miss days.
Students elsewhere in Baghdad are also desperate to continue their studies, but many parents refuse to permit their children to go, whether for cultural reasons, fears for their safety, or other issues. Other students continue their studies, despite some days being the only child in class.
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