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Aug 02, 2011
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Facebook "Orange" - 75-Year-Old Illiterate Iraqi Woman Becomes Computer Savvy

#3063 | 02:22
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Following is an excerpt from an Al-Arabiya TV report, which aired on August 2, 2011:

Studio anchor: "The Orange" has appeared again, this time on Facebook. The Facebook "Orange" is none other than Hajja Umm Riyadh.

Reporter: For over two years, the Facebook page of "The Orange" has been preoccupying young people, who wish to befriend this beauty. Investigation, however, has revealed that "The Orange" is, in fact, the 75-year-old Umm Riyadh, whose longing for her sons, who emigrated from Iraq, drove her to learn how to use a computer.

Within four years, she managed to transform herself from an illiterate woman, who could not read or write, into a politician and critic.

Umm Riyadh’s husband: The wife kept nagging me, so I bought her a computer and a camera, and she learnt and began to use the camera and to talk with her children.

Reporter: "The Orange" posts her suggestions about the political process in Iraq, and about the contest between Allawi and Al-Maliki, as well as about singing in the Arab world, and the transition from traditional singing to dance music. The Orange's homepage is full of renowned singers, including Umm Kulthum, Fayrouz, and Saadi Al-Hali. She maintains regular contact with her friends and her children, to the point that she feels as if they continue to be close to her.

Umm Riyadh: I sit facing my son and can see him in front of me. I switch on the camera. I have friends there, as well as my children.

Reporter: Strong willpower enabled this woman to transform herself from an ignorant woman, who could not read or write, into a political pundit and a music connoisseur. The maternal instinct in Iraq still leads to inventions with first-rate results.


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