Iraq Speech Overview
Your audience will be riveted by Eileen’s account of her time in Iraq. Her speech includes stories of personal triumphs, and the courage and tragedy of people in Iraq – all delivered with humor and objectivity. See a brief excerpt below:
Twenty-two months in Iraq as a civilian running a women’s development program has given me a unique perspective on Iraq, its people and the war.
In March 2004, I put my consulting business of 35 years on hold and traveled to Iraq for what was supposed to be a six-month attempt to help Iraqi women participate in the U.S.’s commitment to rebuild their country.
By way of background, women, contrary to what I think is the common view, play a big part in Iraq’s government and workforce. Women are 62% of the population in Iraq. Decades of bloodshed have left many women widows, with no men to care for them or their families.
Having been an activist on behalf of women’s rights for years I believed from the beginning that unless Iraqi women had a stake in the economy, democracy would fail! Going to Iraq was my chance to:
Impact a fledgling democracy; Support the efforts of my country; And test my strength and commitment to helping women.
I knew my life was going to be very different, but I had no clue how different it was going to be living in a war zone with the constant sounds of mortars, gunfire and helicopters overhead. Learning to adjust to wearing a 40 lb. flak jacket and helmet to walk to work each day in 140-degree weather was a test of my resolve…
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