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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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This Isn't How A Man Is Supposed To Love His Wife!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, July 01, 2002



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I am a nurse at a local hospital here in Nashville, Tennessee, and I am presently taking care of a patient who is presently in the Burn Ward. This patient has been in the hospital since March, but she was originally at Baptist before she was transferred here to our hospital.

This patient is a Muslim woman in her later 20's to very early 30's, and she is unable to talk because she presently has a trache tube in her throat; but she is able to communicate by writing down what she has to say on paper. Her name is Fahid Al Mahood, and she was burned when her husband, Amir, threw acid onto her face; it seems that he got mad because he caught her talking to the mailman, and he supposedly thought that "they were having an affair". (It wasn't the first time that Fahid had been physically abused by her husband; last year she had come to the hospital for treatment after her husband had forcibly kicked her in the ribs, cracking one of them.)

Fahid's face is, as you can very well imagine, quite marred from the acid that had penetrated her skin; severe burns do that to a person, you know. She has had numerous skin grafts and surgeries on her face and on her neck; and she is now very self conscious of how she looks to other people. She sees herself as "ugly", and she doesn't want other people to be looking at her, for fear that they will call her horrible names. (I am the first person she has been able to communicate with; I let her know that I am not gong to harm her; and she has learned to trust in me.) It is bad enough that she has to deal with the fact that she is Muslim--and an IRANIAN Muslim, at that; she is originally from Tehran, Iran, the same place where my daughter, Deborah, is from--and the after-effects of September 11, 2001; now she has to deal with something that was beyond her control and the memories of what her jealous and cruel husband has done to her.

(By the way, Amir is now in prison, awaiting sentencing. He could face many years in jail for intentionally harming his wife and also possible murder charges; he has tried to kill her more than once.)

In Muslim culture, a woman has no rights whatsoever; the MAN is the one who has all rights. A woman is treated as a second-class citizen, and they can't get an education or a job outside of the home; she has to stay at home and take full responsibility of caring for her husband or her children. If a woman defies this, she will surely be severely punished--or possibly murdered, even for something as minor as looking at another man or even talking to a male aquaintance. Even if they come to America, a Muslim woman often has to subject to the demands of her husband.

This was just what happened in Fahid Al Mahood's situation. This is what is known in Muslim circles as "honor killing". Many women are severely harmed or even killed by their husbands. This occurs even here in America; yet few people even know about it.

It is something that HAS to be addressed--and dealt with--as soon as possible.

Now I am married with a husband, myself, but my husband, Bill, treats me with respect, and he knows not to overstep his bounderies. Sure, we have to make adaptations when doing things like making love (for he is so much taller than I am) and other things, but he still loves me and wouldn't even think of harming me, let alone, our children (although we DO discipline them regularly if they misbehave or get into mischief). Besides, we were both raised to believe that hitting a woman is wrong and uncalled for, and any man who dares to strike a woman is considered low-class and a heathen. Yet, nowadays, we hear more and more about women who are being abused by their mates, and Fahid's story is just one small part of something that regularly occurs in our country.

Anyway, back to what I was originally saying: Fahid Al Mahood has been in America for the past 5 years, where she and Amir have been trying to make a better life for them and their tiny son, Amir, Jr. (he is a year old), but they have faced discrimination, especially since the events of September 11. Last October some kids purposely set their house on fire, but thankfully, nobody was hurt; and the fire was put out before there was serious damage; but until the house was repaired, the Al Mahoods stayed with friends until the house was fixed. They also had words, nasty words, mind you, spray-painted on their house and had their trees toilet-papered. It was NOT an easy time for the Al Mahood family, but still, despite it all, they persevered and struggled to go on with their lives.

But HOW can someone like Fahid Al Mahood have a normal life when her husband is always getting angry at her for some petty thing and then striking her repeatedly, even striking her to the point of causing bodily injury or harm to her? I don't really call that a "normal" life, and I don't think ANY woman, NO MATTER WHERE SHE COMES FROM, DESERVES to be hit by ANY man, even if that man IS her husband or even her boyfriend!!

If I were Fahid I would be looking for some way to get away from him, and I would be looking for someplace else to live, someplace SAFE!! Especially since this woman has a tiny child that could also very easily be harmed by this same man!!

But now, instead of getting away, Fahid faces years of reconstructive surgery, all because of the jealousy of her husband who supposedly loves her.

If THAT is "love", that sure is an inappropriate way of showing it...


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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/8/2002
sad...but many women, not just muslims, live in terror of their mates...thank you for sharing...(((HUGS))) and love, karla. :(


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