Iraq honors its first anti-ISIS female tribal leader

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

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In Arabic, “sheikh” is the title given to a tribal leader. But this time, Iraqis broke 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 forgotten but rather honored 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 organization.

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 to react by bombing the city with mortars...”

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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