Iraq honors its first anti-ISIS female tribal leader

Oumaya Naji Jabara was killed after an ISIS sniper killed her directly in the chest.

Oumaya Naji Jabara was killed after an ISIS sniper killed her directly in the chest.

In Arabic, “sheikh” is the title given to a tribal leader. But for the first time, Iraqis have broken the rule when they granted the title, posthumously, to the country’s first female tribal head, Oumaya Naji al-Jabara.

Jabara was reportedly killed on June 22 following a battle with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the western province of Salah al-Din.

The mother of four was not at all forgotten but rather honored in a historic move when she was named named Iraq’s first woman tribal leader or “Sheikha” on Wednesday, according to the head of the Iraqi Tribal Affairs Office Marid Hasoun.

“Jabara is the first woman in Iraq’s history to be given this title. This is to honor her heroic role in fighting ISIS criminals,” Hasoun told al-Sumaria News website.

A lawyer by profession, Jabara was also a women’s rights activist and a consultant for Salah al-Din’s Women and Social Affairs.

She took up arms soon after ISIS started infiltrating the al-Alam district east of the city of Tikrit.

The country’s higher council for human rights said “the sheikha was with her people, heroically resisting the dark forces of ISIS, pushing the militant group only to react by bombing the city with mortars, which also lead to her death.”

Jabara, which literally translates to “mighty” in English, died as a result of a shot to the chest by an ISIS sniper.


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