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Malka Al-Haddad

Malka Al-Haddad

Launch of Birds Without Sky - Poems from Exile Article

"My home is gone
My heart is broken
My tears said:
write a book"
- excerpt from Birds Without Sky

Malka Al-Haddad is an Iraqi human rights defender, who is currently living in exile in the UK. She is the former Director of the Women’s Centre for Culture and art in Iraq – Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf, an NGO working on women's rights, children's rights, education projects and cultural activities. Al-Haddad also worked as a professor at Kufa University, in Iraq, where she was teaching literary criticism. Since 2005 she has been a member of the Union of Iraqi Writers. In exile, Malka has continued writing academic papers and articles on human rights issues, women's rights and refugee rights. In December 2015, she presented a paper at the 4th IARS Annual Conference, on the topic of violence and its impact on women in Iraq.

Malka published a book of poetry, "Birds Without Sky" in 2018, and all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to three charities in England, because of their important work for humanitarian support. There are many people that need help and this is what they do.  According to Malka, "My aim in this book is to give the reader some perception about the experience of being a refugee from a country ripped apart by war, who are forced to flee, and give up everything for liberty." The book is available for purchase.


Human rights defenders in Iraq have been subjected to attack, harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention without trial. Despite the fact that Iraq became a party to the Convention Against Torture in July 2011, torture and ill-treatment in camps and detention centres remains widespread, including against imprisoned human rights defenders and democracy activists.