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Writings by Cathy Breen

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to usernode_link() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/module.inc on line 203.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to usernode_link() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/module.inc on line 203.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
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  • warning: Parameter 2 to views_rss_views_feed_argument() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/module.inc on line 203.

Cathy Breen Writes From Amman - May 10th

in Damascus, Syria

May 10, 2009 Mountain of the SheikMountain of the Sheik

Cathy Breen Writes From Amman - May 7th

in Damascus, Syria

May 7, 2009 Hussein, Um Hamzah, Noor, Hamzah, Abu Hamzah, Ayah, Zeinah, MunaHussein, Um Hamzah, Noor, Hamzah, Abu Hamzah, Ayah, Zeinah, Muna

Cathy Breen Writes From Damascus- May 6th

in Damascus, Syria

May 6, 2009

Taken from window in bldg in neighborhood populated by Palestinians and IraqisTaken from window in bldg in neighborhood populated by Palestinians and Iraqis

Cathy Breen Writes From Amman - April 22nd

in Amman, Jordan

April 22, 2009

cartooncartoon

Dear Friends,

Although it was no easy task, he managed to stay out of the Baath party throughout college, and afterward he did his military service as a low-rank soldier. I will call him Ali. His father built a house and the family grew. Seven children. Upon discharge from the army, the Baath party pursued him in earnest. They sought him out repeatedly in the neighborhood where he lived. One day it came to a showdown, and Ali was cornered in a market area and told that if he didn’t come willingly, he would be taken by force. Don’t you know, the Baath party officer asked, that you are nothing! We have the power to arrest you, to kill you? Ali shoved the officer and fled, hiding first with an uncle and then later in an abandoned warehouse. He saw only his brother who brought him food. His father and other family members sought in vain to negotiate, to even pay money, but the Baath party officials refused. And so it was that he fled to Jordan in 2002. He had 35JD (about $50.) in his pocket. He knew no one.

Cathy Breen Writes From Amman - April 21st

in Amman, Jordan

April 21, 2009

Dear Friends,

In a recent article in The Mercury News (4.18.09), Ken McLaughlin writes about Iraqi refugees struggling to make it in the U.S., specifically in the Silicon Valley. “They had hoped to quickly become self-sufficient, but they’re now looking for jobs in one of the worst economies in our lifetime. It is not what they expected.” The Mercury News has followed two Iraqi families since last summer, and their stories graphically illustrate the human cost of the ongoing suffering, trauma and consequences of the war. The article describes how ill equipped the US’s outdated and overtaxed refugee system is to restore a sense of dignity to Iraqis who have been out of work for years in Iraq’s neighboring countries.

Cathy Breen Writes From Amman - April 14th

in Amman, Jordan

April 14, 2009

Dear Friends,

The question of resettlement is such a troubling one. In reply to my question of whether or not the UNHCR is following the situation of Iraqis who are being resettled, their response was understandable. The UNHCR is able to facilitate resettlement but, regretfully, their responsibility has to end there. It is up to the resettlement countries to receive and care for the refugees in a humane and dignified manner. While they are not encouraging return to Iraq on a large scale, that is until the situation has improved, neither are they discouraging it. To date they have assisted 350 Iraqis to return to Iraq, with transportation and a bit of cash.

Cathy Breen Writing from Amman, Jordan April, 8th 2009

I just returned from the “old” city which is only a 5 minute walk from the apartment. An Iraqi woman friend helped me to wire money to a family with four small children who recently returned to Iraq from Damascus. I know some of the father’s sisters and mother as they are refugees here in Amman, Jordan. Over the last couple of years I have been a messenger of sorts, taking greetings and small money gifts from you back and forth between Jordan and Syria for families who are unable to reach one another. The family here in Jordan pleaded with their brother and son not to return to Iraq. “You must think of your small children, of what might happen to them!” But the family’s money had run out and they had been told by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Syria that there was no hope for them of resettlement. They were told they should think of another option. Tragically the only option for them was to return to Iraq.

Returning to Syria

February 10, 2009

Dear Friends,

“One of the tragedies of the Iraq war is how faceless and nameless its victims have become. The violence has been so rampant, so ubiquitous, that those who’ve suffered from it are increasingly lost in anonymity.”

(Khaled Hosseini, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, in intro of Silent Exodus: Portrait of Iraqi Refugees in Exile)

I hope some of Kathy Kelly’s recent accounts from Gaza and Dahr Jamail’s current communications from Baghdad have reached you by email. Dahr is back in Baghdad after four years away, an absence that sharpens his ability to assess the situation there for us. On Jan. 28th and 29th he wrote: “There is less violence in Iraq today than there was even six months ago, but dozens of Iraqis continue to be killed daily. It is nearly impossible to meet a family that has not had a family member killed or wounded….Critical infrastructure such as supply of electricity and water remains shattered….Throughout Baghdad, there is an average of four hours of electricity per 24 hours, and people left with no choice but to drink tap water, when it runs—water heavily contaminated by waterborne diseases, fuel, sewage and sediment. Jobs are scarce, and people are suffering greatly. The anger about this seethes just beneath the surface everywhere I turn…According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are still more people fleeing the country than there are returning to their homes.”

Refugee Narratives: A reflection by Cathy Breen

November 10, 2008

Affectionate greetings to you all. I arrived four days ago from the Middle East and find myself caught as it were between two worlds. I feel like I left one family there in order to return to family here. Despite the starkly different realities, both places seem equally familiar. In ways hard to describe, life there seems easier.

Resettling by Cathy Breen

Amman, Jordan
October 22, 2008

I learned that among the things he was forced to leave behind was a large feather pillow his mother had made about seventy years ago. She had gathered the feathers herself. Also left behind were some embroidery pieces she had made as well as a couple of books and other items. When his wife died of cancer over 28 years ago, this gentle man had raised his three children alone. I met his only daughter recently in Syria. She and her husband are among the refugee population there longing to join family in a safe place where they can work and raise their two small daughters. I thought of an embroidered pillow case cover my mother gave me some years back. It is something I cherish imagining how she had laid her head on it as a child. Maybe, I told him, I could retrieve some of the things left behind with a neighbor.