Nov 14, 2010

Syria Sex Trade triangle Iraqi women, night club, gulf men

Syria Sex Trade triangle Iraqi women, night club, gulf men

Maraba, a suburb of Damascus, has become a hub of prostitution but that was before militias began threatening their Baghdad neighborhood and Fatma and her daughter fled to Syria last spring were no jobs, and Fatma’s elderly father developed complications related to his diabetes.
Fatma followed the advice of an Iraqi acquaintance and took her daughter to work at a nightclub along a highway known for prostitution. “We Iraqis used to be a proud people,” she said over the frantic blare of the club’s speakers. She pointed out her daughter, dancing among about two dozen other girls on the stage, wearing a pink silk dress with spaghetti straps, her frail shoulders bathed in colored light.
As Fatma watched, a middle-aged man climbed onto the platform and began to dance jerkily, arms flailing, among the girls.

“During the war we lost everything,” she said. “We even lost our honor.”
For anyone living in Damascus these days, the fact that some Iraqi refugees are selling sex or working in sex clubs is difficult to ignore. even in central Damascus, men freely talk of being approached by pimps trawling for customers outside juice shops and shawarma sandwich stalls, and of women walking up to passing men, an act unthinkable in Arab culture, and asking in Iraqi-accented Arabic if the men would like to “have a cup of tea.”

Al Rawabi
The road that leads from Damascus to the historic convent at Saidnaya is often choked with Christian and Muslim pilgrims hoping for one of the miracles attributed to a portrait of the Virgin Mary at the convent. But as any Damascene taxi driver can tell you, the Maraba section of this fabled pilgrim road is fast becoming better known for its brisk trade in Iraqi prostitutes.

Women and girls, including some barely in their teens, are recent refugees. Some are tricked or forced into prostitution, but most say they have no other means of supporting their families. Any way as a group they represent one of the most visible symptoms of an Iraqi refugee crisis that has exploded in Syria in recent years.

Now there are about 1.2 million Iraqi refugees live in Syria; the Syrian government puts the figure even higher.
Given the deteriorating economic situation of those refugees, a United Nations report found, many girls and women in “severe need” turn to prostitution, in secret or even with the knowledge or involvement of family members. In many cases, the report added, “the head of the family brings clients to the house.”

Thousands of Iraqi women work as prostitutes in Syria, and point out that as violence in Iraq has increased, the refugee population has come to include more female-headed households and unaccompanied women.
So many of the Iraqi women still arriving now are living on their own with their children because the men in their families were killed or kidnapped

Iraqi refugees living in Masaken Barzeh, on the outskirts of Damascus, and found 119 female-headed households in one small neighborhood. Some of the women, seeking work outside the home for the first time and living in a country with high unemployment, find that their only marketable asset is their bodies.

Now if you would go out on alternate nights each woman took her turn and then divide the money to feed all the children.”
After the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iraqi prostitution in Syria, like any prostitution, was a forbidden topic for Syria’s government. drug abuse, sex trade tends to be referred to in the local news media as acts against public decency. But Dietrun Günther, an official at the United Nations refugee agency’s Damascus office, said the government was finally breaking its silence that there are young girls involved, and that they’re being forced, even smuggled into Syria in some cases,” Ms. Günther said. “We’ve had special talks with the Syrian government about prostitution.” She called the officials’ new openness “a great step.”
But… the government had been blindsided by the scale of the arriving Iraqi refugee population. Syria does not require visas for citizens of Arab countries, and its government had pledged to assist needy Iraqis but this country of 19 million was ill equipped to cope with the sudden arrival of hundreds of thousands of them

Sometimes you see whole families living this way, the girls pimped by the mother or aunt but prostitution isn’t the only problem. It is only a small side of the big problem Syrian schools are overcrowded, and the prices of services, food and transportation have all risen
There is not any shelters or health centers that these women can go to and because of the situation in Iraq, Syria is careful not to deport these women.

All of the semi-organized prostitution takes place on the outskirts of the capital, in nightclubs known as casinos a local euphemism, because no gambling occurs.

At Al Rawabi, an expensive nightclub in Al Hami, there is even a floor show with an Iraqi theme. One recent evening, waiters brought out trays of snacks: French fries and grilled chicken hearts wrapped in foil folded into diamond shapes Then the 10-piece band warmed up, and an M.C. gave the traditionally overwrought introduction in Arabic: “I give you the honey of all stages, the stealer of all hearts, the most golden throat, the glamorous artist: Maria”
Maria, a buxom young woman, climbed onto the stage and began an anguished-sounding ballad. “After Iraq I have no homeland,” she sang. “I’m ready to go crawling on my knees back to Iraq.” Four other women, all wearing variations on leopard print, gyrated on stage, swinging their hair in wild circles. The stage lights had been fitted with colored gel filters that lent the women’s skin a greenish cast.
Al Rawabi’s customers watched Maria calmly, leaning back in their chairs and drinking Johnnie Walker Black. The large room smelled strongly of sweat mingled with the apple tobacco from scores of water pipes. When Maria finished singing, no one clapped.
She picked up the microphone again and began what she called a salute to Iraq, naming many of the Iraqi women in the club and, indicating one of the women in leopard print who had danced with her, “most especially my best friend, Sahar.”

After the dance Sahar told a visitor she would leave the club with him for $200.
The price usually between $50 to $70 for an Iraqi prostitute working in Damascus but some of the Iraqi dancers in the crowded casinos of Damascus suburbs earn much less.

Each girl has a minimum of 500 lira at the end of each night, no matter how bad business is
Sure no one are happy while men from the gulf are seeing Iraqi women naked bodies and selling sex
casinos appear to directly broker arrangements between prostitutes and their customers and the club earned money through sales of food and alcohol and dancers were encouraged to sit with male customers and order drinks to increase revenues.

Iraqi prostitutes have helped to make Syria a popular destination for sex tourists from wealthier countries in the Middle East. In the club’s parking lot, nearly half of the cars had Saudi license plates that from Damascus it is only about six hours by car, passing through Jordan, to the Saudi border.
Syria, where it is relatively easy to buy alcohol and dance with women, is popular as a low-cost weekend destination for groups of Saudi men.
Also  some women of other nationalities, including Russians and Moroccans, still work as prostitutes in Damascus
70 percent to 80 percent of the girls working this business in Damascus today are Iraqis  and the rents in Syria are too expensive for their families but If they go back to Iraq they’ll be slaughtered, and this is the only work available.
Any how can we say: thanks SADAM or thanks U S A

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