I consider myself to be emotionally tough when it comes to reading about horror, suffering, and injustice. Don’t get me wrong though, I can be moved to great emotion and feeling, yet have instilled in myself over the years of working in a caring profession, where I see tragedy, upset and suffering on a frequent basis, a harder protective exterior. I may recoil over news reports concerning atrocities, death and famine, yet nothing, but nothing has affected me quite like the reading in the Guardian newspaper- 3rd November concerning the execution of a 13 yr old Somali girl accused of adultery and stoned to death.
I can not bear to write the details here even, all I can ask is that you go to the link to read for yourselves. Not being too melodramatic, but that event, so heinous and so terrible, was a defining moment for me. Something inside me just clicked, changed, moved, happened. I can not begin to explain it but it was after reading this report, that I vowed; yes it was that strong, vowed that I would move with an hardened commitment in my aim to work with women who suffer violence and abuse. This includes women’s health, human rights and my passion concerning the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). See Zero Tolerance for Women.
Many of us are procrastinators and I’m no exception. My flaw has been that I can make excuses for doing sometimes little. I have been stressed, busy, working, waiting for this and that. Wait until I have my degree, then I will be in a real position to do something. Waiting until there is enough money for a regular train fare to London to visit the organisation of Foreward, a UK charity formed for the eradication of FGM. Well, yes some of those restraints still exist but I’m afraid I can’t wait any longer.
That is why two evenings ago, in spite of being busy preparing to go back to work after a month off sick, I made the time to post a letter to join Amnesty International. But I am not going to just “chuck” money at organisations and causes, as I have done in the past. My aim is to get involved practically at any level concerning the overall human rights of man, and not just women; though women’s studies are a passion and will continue to be.
I am doing this in the name of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. I have written her name in my notebook so as never to forget it. A girl, the age of my daughter, who suffered the most appauling double horror, injustice and death at the hands of men, evil beyond all defintion. Her death will not be in vain and for nothing. I owe it to her and to every other human being abused, tortured, oppressed and murdered, not to just sit, read and do little If I have a compelling force to do other wise. I don’t know what I can do or where this will take me. But I pray with God’s will it will take me somewhere. And in the mean time, yes, I will finish my Diploma, try real hard to obtain my degree and to do all the million other things that life expects. I know it won’t be done all at once and I know other things nearer to home have top priority. However, a start has to be made somewhere and I have started.
And I am never going to stop!!!!!!!!!!!
NB: After writing this blog, I have discovered more information regarding this crime which took place on October 27th. I have included a Radio 4 interview here with the Director of Amnesty International which reports the incident from an eye-witness account, but also explains the background as to why Somalia is such a violent place and why it’s people remain largely unprotected against such atrocities, and why no-one is brought to justice. On saying that, BBC news 24 has just reported, at time of wrting in draft 04/11/08, two men have been flogged in Mogadishu in relation to this death. My comment about that punishment will be witheld from here but I suspect you can quess what I think to it.
I have decided to create another blog site for the specific purpose of concentrating on humanitarian and human rights issues. This will report Amnesty Internationals work and what involvement I have. All my blogs concerning FGM will be now written on this new site. This blog site will remain for my general stories. I have as yet to think of a suitable name but it will be dedicated to the memory of Aisha, the girl murdered in this story.