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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC Arabic's Fact-Finding Commission to investigate Iraq widows situation

Two editions of BBC Arabic television's flagship investigative programme Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq (The Fact-Finding Commission) will be looking at the situation of widows in Iraq. Recorded in Baghdad, the programme is hosted by BBC Arabic television's Norma Al Hajj.

Iraq's recent history – from the eight-year-long war with Iran in the Eighties to the recent US-led invasion – has been marked by a creation of a social class of war widows.

According to various reports, the number of widows in Iraq has exceeded 1.5 million, with a majority of them living on less than US $125 a month.

Norma says: "These numbers translate into personal stories: a widow who is being forced to beg in the street or is being recruited by an armed group or is forced to sell one of her children – all because she's left do fend for herself and for her family after her husband died.

"The Fact-Finding Commission explores the social reality of today's Iraq that these women represent, and whether aid provided by the government and non-government organisations target improving the widows' living conditions."

The programme will examine, in two consecutive episodes, the psychological and social challenges faced by the Iraqi widows, with a special focus on how they are recruited by various armed groups in Iraq.

Government officials, non-government organisations as well as witnesses – widows themselves – all contribute to the BBC investigation.

These editions of Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq will be broadcast at 19.20GMT on Tuesday 6 and Tuesday 13 October 2009.

Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq is a panel of independent people who get to the heart of the matter by investigating various social, political and economic issues. The panel calls expert witnesses and key commentators to examine their knowledge and capture their insights on the key issues.

Linked from London, the programme is recorded on location around the region.

Notes to Editors

BBC Arabic is the BBC's integrated news and information service for the Arab world. It is available on air and on demand 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

It is designed to reach audiences on radio, television, the internet – on bbcarabic.com – mobile phones and handheld computers in whatever way best suits the audience.

BBC Arabic is both the largest and the oldest of the BBC's non-English language services. Launched on 3 January 1938, it has evolved into the Arab world's leading international broadcaster, covering the political, social and cultural issues that matter to its diverse audiences in the Arab world and across the world.

With its new 24/7 TV presence, BBC Arabic is bringing the world to Arab audiences – reporting the news wherever it leads.

The latest news from BBC Arabic is now available on mobile phones, PDAs and other wireless handheld devices. BBC Arabic breaking news alerts are also offered via mobile operators as a subscription service in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and the Palestinian Territories.

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