Abeer’s rape and murder mirrors the fate of the nation of her birth. Her attackers stalked her, watching her house for a week before launching their offensive. In the minds of many, this is synonymous with preparations for the invasion of Iraq itself, certain world powers continuously targeting Iraq, gathering intelligence (later proven misleading if not fabricated) and finalising plans that violated in totality the sovereignty of the country.
Further, Abeer’s complaints of harassment are synonymous with appeals made by Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion; that it was not affiliated with Al-Qaeda nor did it possess weapons of mass destruction. Iraq appealed to neighbouring countries and the United Nations to bring to a halt the military juggernaut massing on its borders. But just as Abeer’s neighbours proved unable to help in time, so too did the world community in failing Iraq.
Abeer’s life as a whole is testament to the suffering of the Iraqi people. Born the year Iraq invaded Kuwait, Abeer lived out her infancy under the punitive sanctions regimen. She grew up different from other girls in the Arab world: an innocent child, yet punished for wrongs she could not begin to understand. By the time she turned 13, Iraq had been invaded and entire cities and villages were soon under siege. In the great war of liberation allegedly waged to stifle terrorism and liberate the Iraqi people from the stranglehold of tyranny, Abeer paid with her life at the hands of the liberator.