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Witness
In My Mother's Arms
In one of Baghdad's most dangerous districts, a man struggles to rebuild the lives of 32 Iraqi orphans.
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2012 18:00

Directors: Mohamed al-Daradji and Atia al-Daradji

In Sadr City, Baghdad, 32 football-crazy boys live, eat, study and sleep together in a rented two-bedroom house which functions as an unofficial orphanage.

The orphanage receives no government or NGO support. It exists only because of the dedication and energy of Husham and his small team of helpers who felt they had to do something - anything - to tackle a problem that threatens to undermine Iraqi society.

The children who are Sunni, Shia, Kurdish and Turkuman are representative faces of contemporary Iraq, and their lives sum up one of the deepest issues facing Iraqi society today.

The boys are just a handful of the five million children, who according to Iraqi government figures, have been left parentless in successive waves of violence since 2003.

Husham and his workers spend their days trying to cope with the practical and psychological fallout from the trauma that has shattered Iraq in the past decade.

Young Saif lost both his parents in a bomb blast and it has taken a great toll on him. He feels alone in the world and fights with everyone and anyone.

And there is also a new threat: the landlord of the house wants to sell the property, leaving the boys and their carers with nowhere to go.

Filmed over the course of several months, In My mother's Arms presents an astonishing portrait of life in the orphanage. The children laugh, squabble and cry together and take uncertain steps on the road back to a normal future. And Husham and his colleagues face up to the ongoing struggle to support the boys under their care with humour, resilience and unwavering determination.

This film can be seen from Wednesday, July 25, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2000; Thursday: 1200; Friday: 0100; Saturday: 0600; Sunday: 2000; Monday: 1200; Tuesday: 0100; Wednesday: 0600

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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