Hear Our Stories

Lubna's Story: Life without Nazish Noorani

Lubna's Story: Life without Nazish NooraniMy mind often wanders to the night she died and I find myself reliving the entire ordeal. It was the 16th of Ramadan. We had just broken our fasts. We chatted about everything from food, kids to Eid outfits. The last thing she said to me was “I’ll be right back.” She never came back. If I had known I would never see her alive again, I would have asked her to stay a little longer, I would have held onto her tightly, I would have told her I loved her and that I will miss her. Read More


LOUD and DETERMINED

LOUD and DETERMINED survivor of Domestic ViolenceI am LOUD and DETERMINED. How About You? My father is dead and I am a survivor. I am now 50 yrs. old, and Alhamdulillah I lived to see my birthday and his death.

I was born with sickly lungs and my mother was told I wouldn't live to see my second birthday. The doctors told her to not become attached to her sickly daughter because of my condition, but she hung on and with her love and devotion, I survived numerous respiratory infections and medical issues.

While I was blessed with a loving mother, my father was another case. He beat me as a small child for the smallest infractions. By four years of age, I was beaten for not doing the dishes "correctly". By five, beatings become common place from him  Read More


Anna Mollah

Anna Mollah Courtesy Pavement Pieces Anna Mollah wept uncontrollably in her Glen Oaks, Queens, home as she remembered how her husband used to beat her.

He punched her stomach when she was pregnant with their first son, kicked her when she was carrying their daughter and did it again during the third pregnancy. He hit her when they disagreed over the Con Edison bill, or when he had headaches, or when he disapproved of school supplies she bought the kids. He repeatedly called her "worthless," "garbage" and "good for nothing," and made her believe it.

One day she used the family car to run errands without his permission and he got mad. They argued and he grew madder. Then he flew into a rage, wrapped his hands around her neck and squeezed. She tried to scream for help as he strangled her. She was able to utter, "I'll call the police." Then he shoved her to the ground. ReadMore
 

Jenna

Model Trina Lloyd Photograph by Zerqa Abid © Dar al Islam Jenna was three months pregnant with her fourth baby when her husband surprised her with a plan to visit their country of origin, Algeria. Her husband was very violent and abusive those days. The outside world knew him as a very decent practicing Muslim, but inside the apartment it was a different story. It was a hell and Jenna had to struggle everyday to make it a better place for her children.

She took that surprise as a very positive change and a good break from domestic violence. Happily, Jenna said good-bye to all of her friends believing that she was going for a great summer vacation. She had two daughters, 3 and 4, and one 6-year old son. She packed their stuff with season planning and told them all the good things about Algeria and her people. Read More
 

Huma

Model Shannon Corbeil Photograph by Maha Alkhateeb © Dar al Islam The clock announced 5 o'clock and Huma, 28, looked at it with disbelief. The week was passing so quickly. It was already Wednesday evening. Only two days were left until her husband would come back from a nearby town where he had been living for his work. Only two more days. She was shivering severely. The thoughts of him being in the apartment were as scary as having him in the apartment.

Scared and alone Huma was caged in that apartment for a few weeks. Every weekend her husband would come to torture her in new creative ways. He would abuse her as much as he wanted and then would leave her alone for another week with a little food and limited means of communications.

One would think that Huma would either die of hunger and fear or at the least would become a mental patient. Neither is true. Hers is a story that belies the stereotypes of women in the Muslim community and speaks to the universal challenges of domestic violence in all communities. Read More
 

Salma & Abubakar

Models Shaahn and Urie Williams Photograph by Maha Alkhateeb © Dar al Islam Abubakar and Salma were married for twelve years and had four children, Bilal, Jalal, Ayesha and Maria, who currently range in age from 2 to 10. During the course of years, it became increasingly clear that they were quite different people and that they shared but few interests. Having children did not help their situation. Rather, with the birth of each successive child, they grew further and further apart.

Abubakar was almost never home, instead he worked and then went out with his friends. Salma stayed home and was almost totally occupied with taking care of their children. Both agree that for a few years, their interactions have been mostly businesslike, with a few bad arguments in between.

Two years ago, Salma started back to work part time. She loved it! She particularly liked having social contact and making friends; something that, with four small children at home, she hadn’t had for a while.

It seemed to Salma that, just as she was starting to feel really happy with her life, Abubakar decided to make things impossible. First, he started to complain about her going out. He said that, since she was away working all day, she shouldn't be able to go out for anything else. Then, Abubakar started to say that she shouldn't be working at all. He started nitpicking about the cleanliness of the house and criticizing anything that Salma prepared for dinner. He also started to monitor her phone calls and interrogate her about her whereabouts. Read More
 

I Am: Muslim American

I was raised in an abusive home. My father sent my mother to the hospital a few times. We learned very quickly not to talk about it. Dad convinced us with his screams, Mom with her tears. My extended family knew mother's stories about broken bones and bruises were lies. They tried to get my brother and I to tell them what was happening. We merely regurgitated the half-truths we had been trained to tell. I remember so clearly the suspicion in my uncle's eyes, the pleading in my grandmother's face, but my tongue was tied in a knot I didn't know how to loosen.

A hostage, a puppet, my mouth bore the words that had been planted there. I hoped as much as I feared my eyes would tell the Truth. No one ever acted on what they saw in my eyes, only what they heard come out of my mouth. I thought they didn’t see. I realize now they must have felt as tied and helpless as I did.

I learned there is no safety in the world. Read More
 

Anonymous Survivor

Muslim communities are the worst communities ever, and yes I am a Muslim! Why do I say that...let me explain something about my life. I was married to (and right now in the process of divorce) to a vey abusive man. He was a prominent physician in the United States, and 17 yrs older than me. When I married him I was 18. Right after that I moved to the States and had 2 children with him. I suffered physical, mental, emotional abuse from him and his mother, who lived with us. He made me cut off from all my friends, family...I was not even allowed to talk to my parents for the last 3 yrs. Every time I wanted to leave there was more abuse, more threats to kill my brother, rape my sister etc. My parents out of cultural pressure and threats pushed me to stay with him. Outside people thought we were great, never realizing what happened behind closed doors. They did not realize I was beaten every time I tried to talk to somebody or made a face in public. I was sick of pretending. I came to point that I thought I would lose my mind. Read More
 

Anonymous Victim

WHY ABUSED (MUSLIM) WOMEN DON'T LEAVE THEIR ABUSIVE HUSBANDS, EVEN THOUGH THIS IS AMERICA? I'LL TELL YOU WHY......

  1. They don't know where to look for help.
  2. They don't want to hurt their parents/disappoint them/have them become the "talk of the town".
  3. They have children, and feel that they would rather go through hell than subject their children to the real trauma/social stigma of a break-up/divorce.
Read More
 
 

Blog

“In the Beginning”

One of my earliest childhood memories is the one where I wake up from sleep on my step uncle’s lap to find his finger inside of me. I can’t remember how old I was, I was definitely young enough to still be... More>>


   


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