REMEMBERING HAYAT SHARARA
Nazik al-Malaika accused and convicted in the court of society and denied the right to defend our case.”
The Iraqi Communist Party spearheaded the struggle against social injustice. At a time when it was in dire need of young, committed Iraqis, it nominated Hayat, who was still under 17, to attend a peace conference held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1952. Shortly after her departure, the “November Upheaval” erupted on November 23, 1952, demanding the abolition of the 1930 Treaty and amendment of the Election Law. The upheaval was triggered by the dismissal of four students from the College of Commerce, University of Baghdad. When demands for their return were turned down, the students took to the streets where they were joined by members of the public. The demonstrators were brutally confronted by police. A state of martial law was imposed and scores of leftist students and thinkers were arrested. My father went underground somewhere in Najaf. When police raided our home, they found no one but my 14-year-old brother Ibrahim, who was released only upon the intervention of Bahjat al-Attiyah, Director of Public Security, who was an acquaintance of my father but not happy with his political leanings. A court of martial law sentenced my father to one year in prison on account of his affiliation with Ansaar al-Salam (Heralds of Peace) and for publishing some articles.
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18 BANIPAL 63 – AUTUMN/WINTER 2018