Neighbors Aid Refugees From Hawr Rajab - 04.28.2008

These actions pushed some families to flee Hawr Rajab and move to a nearby area called Abu Dsheer which seems to be demonstrating ongoing solidarity within Iraq society, as the families who spoke with Alive in Baghdad are Sunni families that fled from Hawr Rajab to Abu Dsheer, which is known to be a majority Shi’a neighborhood.

Since the Sahwa force was established in Hawr Rajab there have been a number of massacres, demonstrating the ongoing instability that discourages many displaced families from returning home.

Hawr Rajab was controlled by Al-Qaeda and used to be known as a major area under Al-Qaeda’s control. In the beginning they targeted anyone who worked with the United States military, and after awhile, Al-Qaeda started to establish rules to be followed by the people living therem like men are not allowed to wear shorts have a short beard, and for all women they must wear a veil on their head when they go out of their homes.

The people lof Hawr Rajab liked the idea of the “Sahwa Forces” and many people joined that force in order to get Al-Qaeda out of their area. Al-Qaeda decided to retaliate against this behavior of people living there and to show them that Al-Qaeda is still strong and still controlling the area. Members Al-Qaeda began to assassinate heads of the tribes that joined Al-Sahwa, and the young people that joined, in order to push them away from the Sahwa. One of the methods of assassinations was to behead the kidnapped person and put the victim’s head on their chest, and leave the body in front of their family’s ho,e

By early 2008 Al-Qaeda had burned and destroyed some houses for random people and killed people only for belonging to a certain tribe that agreed with the Sahwa method and that reason pushed people to flee to anywhere and made many go to a Shi’a neighborhood just to stay alive.


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