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Imposed Marriage Tragedy in Sudan

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Empower woman; educate her and never bother about the future. An educated woman is a school of virtue.

This is a story of a bravery of a young Sudanese woman who opposed early forced marriage and fell victim . Refusal cost her, her face and she partially lost sight. Superstition, Naivety, cheating and revenge, are main factors in this story.

This tragedy took place in a small village in central Sudan... The hero of this story is a younger woman called Sanaa El Amin. Sanaa was only 17 years at the time. She is ambitious to continue high school and looking forward to join one of the universities in Khartoum. Beautiful Young, and intelligent, was enjoying life and dreaming of tailoring her own future. Fate had another word.
An elderly man who was above forty, from a neighboring village, proposed to her. Her father immediately accepted despite her refusal and the marriage formal procedures completed during her temporary absence while she was attending a boarding school in a near by town.

TO BE MORE OBEDIENT TO HIM THAN HIS OWN RIGHT HAND...BUT..!
Her protests and cries went unheard by her father and traditions prevailing in the local community.In a moment her freedom and life has been confiscated.

During the honeymoon she refused to have sex with him. After that she was forced to live with her "husband" in the suburbs of the capital, Khartoum. The husband was still dreaming of having her one day more obedient to him than his own right hand.

What astonishing in her story, despite being young with limited experience, she had the will and power to refuse the situation in which her parents dragged her. For more than four months she didn't allow her husband to approach her, and reject any conjugal relation with him. All efforts to convince or coerce her failed. She had a wish: to divorce, he had a wish to sleep with her. After several months of wrangling, her husband sent her to her family in the village. He had an evil plan in mind.

Feeling hurt, blinded by inhuman desires, and pushed by anger, he decided to avenge his "offended" masculinity. He decided to deprive her, her beauty, and turn her life into hell. He bought a big amount of concentrated chemical sodium hydroxide liquid from a shop close to his workplace, with justification that he needed it to remove and polish some hard stains from one of an iron bean in his house. The buyer explained the best way to remove the stain fast. He then took advantage of the naivety of an elderly brother of Sanaa, who was sympathizing with. Giving him the liquid, he told him that it was blessed water obtained from a well known religious sheikh (marabout). He also told him that the (water) would help Sanaa to love him, accept marriage and enjoy a normal life with him.
The brother, believing the lies of his brother-in-law, agreed to carry out the evil task and accomplish the mission. At dawn, while Sanaa was sleeping peacefully and quietly, in the yard with her parents, her brother approached her, while the husband was supervising the situation from a distance, he sank the "beneficial potion" on her face. She startled and began screaming, shouting in a voice that broke hearts. The "potion" had changed her life forever. She lost sight in the left eye; her face was distorted beyond recognition, in addition to the horror and psychological problems. (See attached photo).

In spite of limited financial resources, she had undergone a number of operations in Sudan and Egypt, with slight improvement. Medical report indicated that she required more operations to rebuild her face and make it once again that human she lost.

For almost a year, she had to cover her face all the time because the light hurt her healthy eye. At last she obtained a divorce certificate. Efforts to bring justice against the guilty were abandoned, following a pardon from her parents; he was set free with a nominal fine.

Her tragedy has been published in newspapers and aired in a number of web sites topped by www.sudaneseonline.com.
This launched a global call for prompting medical attention and giving financial aid to El Amin to help her receive the necessary treatment abroad.

Luckily a generous influential personality from the UAE, Undertook all the expenses of treatment of Ms Sana abroad. Thanks to the generosity of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Al Mubarak, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Welfare Foundation and Chairperson of the General Women's Union, Sanaa continues medical treatment in America, under the supervision of the most famous surgeons in the world,. who plans to finish higher studies and have a future of her own.

The bravery of that young woman encouraged THREE OTHER YOUNG WOMEN to recall similar stories and speak out their sufferings.

The conclusion of this story and how the problem of Sanaa was handled, reflected the importance of women cooperation and solidarity. Sudanese women movements adopted this story as main issue of the anniversary celebrations of the International Women's Day 2008.

In Arabic culture, the name sanna's interpretation means the divine light.

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Comments

aliĝngix's picture

Importance of Speaking Out

This article moved me. I was frighted, and felt fear for what was happening to Sanna.
There is nothing that I can say that can contribute in anyway, not really. But thank you for sharing this story.
Hearing of brave ones like her give me light to be guided by.

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

Hi aligngix, I appreciate

Hi aligngix,

I appreciate your feelings. In fact, the first time I saw her photo was very chocked. One of my sons, having seen her face and known her suffering, couldn't sleep for a couple of days. She is lucky a great personality volunteered to cover all the personal expenses of treatment in the United States. What about the rest who are suffering silently?

It is regrettabel this trend of women's domestic violence increasing in Sudan.. I think, as remedy, a harsh punishment should be implemented. Without it , I am afraid, Sana will not be an individual unique reported case.

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