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On 13th July 2004, five young girls came with their mother to the orphanage in Basra, Iraq. They were seeking help. The eldest girl, Hadeer was 13 years old. Laheeb was 11 years old, Wedyan was10 years old, Khawater was 9 years and Sabiha the youngest, was only 8 years old.
Their story started when their father had died and they went to live with their stepbrother and stepsister.The five girls could not stay in their house as their stepbrothers refused to let them live there. Then their mother decided to get re-married in order to find someone to support and help her to look after five girls.
Then the mother was faced another problem, her husband started to mistreat her and her daughters, he could not accept that they live with him. The mother was in a dilemma, as she was not able to care and support five children alone, but her husband refused to let them stay in his house.
The mother took her daughters and went to the orphanage, many people advised her to do so, they said that it would be the best environment for them. She met the orphanage’s director, Mrs.Fawzia Al –Amood, and asked her to let the five girls stay in the orphanage. The mother’s health was not well at that time and she asked the director to look after her daughters and never give them to anyone. She said that she would have an operation and come back to take them, or if she passed away, for them to be allowed to stay at the orphanage forever.
The five girls stayed in the orphanage and they started a new life, joined school and their behaviour changed. However, after two years they heard that their mother had died. All girls continue their studies and they have been in the orphanage for nearly nine years. When Hadeer turned 19 she got married and she now has three children and is expecting a fourth. Laheeb is now a second year student in University studying Information Technology .Wedyan and Khawater are in high school in the final year (Year 12) and both have hope to go to University afterwards. Sabilais also get married now.
All girls call Mr Wathib Al- Amood ‘Grand-dad’, Fawzia Al-Amood ‘Mum’ and her husband ‘Dad’. They found a family in the orphanage that they could not have found anywhere else. The orphanage has been a flourishing environment for these girls.