“Women are the soul of society”

So says the Saudi poet Hissa Hilal

This is what I see when I look at this picture, my favorite from my last trip to Iraq. I took it when I was in Hawija, a town recently liberated from Daesh (IS). You see a police officer on duty, smiling and waving at cars passing by. Just behind him lies a burnt car among a pile of rubble from houses that collapsed in the line of fire. The policeman is not lifting a finger to clean this mess up – to clean is a woman’s job. And this man most probably has one or two wives and a bunch of daughters, but they are not supposed to be seen in places where men are.

To me, this picture screams exactly what she said: Women are the soul of society. Without female energy in the public space, it stays what it is: a careless dump. It does not invite people to care for their world. It does not invite people to join forces, leave tragedy behind and continue with life, realizing that, despite everything, tomorrow is another day.

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