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Red Crescent volunteer faces fear after fighting

31-07-2003 Feature

Her colleagues and friends now call her “the burier”. For Inass Mouaiid, a 25-year-old Iraqi Red Crescent volunteer, burying 50 bodies was a gruesome task. But she also had the courage to carry injured people to hospitals while under fire. Despite the pressures of a traditional society reluctant to see women taking an active part in rescue operations in the battlefield, Inass risked her life to protect the dignity of her fellow citizens. Today, while she is more concerned for her personal safety, she continues her work as a volunteer with children.

In an attempt to relax after many nerve-racking days of work, Inass and her fellow Iraqi Red Crescent volunteers share many sad stories of their rescue operations. One in particular, Basra University, was the saddest. Inass, another woman, Israa, and Mohamed – all young volunteers – used an ambulance and a pick-up truck to ferry the dead to the morgue. The university compound and the small lake next to it were scattered with the bodies of dead soldiers. Inass found two severed heads, buried in the mud next to the lake. Her two colleagues could not bear to retrieve the heads and put them in the pick-up with the other body parts, so Inass volunteered for the task.
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