Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back to School

The Wall Street Journal had a really moving article on Monday by Roger Thurow about a Nigerian girl named Anafghat Ayouba. (The link is a Pittsburg Post-Gazette reprint which you can read without a subscription.)

As is not uncommon in Nigeria and other counties in central Africa, Anafghat was married at 11 to a man twice her age (the dowry was one camel). She lived with her family till she reached puberty, when she went to live with her husband. Soon she was pregnant, and her husband left to work in Libya.

Young and small for her age, she had trouble in delivering her baby. After three days of hard labor during which she was unable to deliver her baby, her father pulled together the money to drive her to a hospital, where her son was delivered, but stillborn. However, the long hard labor had torn a hole, called a fistula, between her bladder and her vagina, leaving her incontinent.

Now, after surgery from visiting American surgeons, she has gone back to school (she was a third grade drop-out) to persue her dream of getting a college education and making something of herself. And her father, a muslim cleric (and goat herder) is behind her:

Anafghat is back living in the small round hut with her family. She and her father say she has no plans to return to her husband and she will stay with her family until she advances to the higher school. And she wants to make sure her younger sisters follow her. Mr. Mahomed sat on one of the beds stirring a bowl of rice, surrounded by all of his daughters.


He says he will keep his promises to Anafghat. "Even if one of my daughters asks to get married while they are still in school," he says, "I will refuse."

Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

dilys said...

Wonderful story. You're linked.

The father here surrounded by his newly hopeful daughters reminds me of Psalm 128:3 -- thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

Welcome to the Austin 'sphere.