A heartbreaking report from ISNA about an Ahwazi Arab homeless woman whose name is Zahra and aged 50.
She says; her life fell apart after her husband passed away and after a rough period, she eventually found herself with nowhere to sleep but the streets. I have no home to go back at night; she said
I could not pay off the rent because it was more than I could pay so I was left with no option just to live in the street. She continues; the municipality occasionally threatens me to go from here but I have no place to go. This is an all too common sight of Ahwazi Arabs who have lived in Ahwaz for many generations and are sufferings and being left homeless and destitute, finding food and shelter the best way they can.
The urban areas of Ahwaz where most of the Ahwazi Arabs still live today are infested with inadequate housing that resembles the situation of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980’s. Non-Arab settlements separate the Arab areas with separation walls. In the capital, Ahwaz City, the most horrific slums are LShekarabad, Shilingabad, Akhar-e-Esfalt, Zirgan, Pich-e-Kazami, Ameri, Kut Abdollah, and Hasirabad. The extreme poor living conditions of the Ahwazi Arab are in contrast to the non-Arab areas of Ahwaz City. Riots often break out in the areas where the Ahwazis are suffering the most from extreme poverty and depravity of the most basic of human needs: food, water, and adequate housing. The winters can be especially difficult for the Ahwazis to survive in an area that not only produces 90% of the country’s energy, but also produces 80% of the country’s wealth.