A series of Domestic Violence
It’s been 8 months since the death of Roula Yaacoub, the 33 year old mother who was beaten to death. After her death, we found out that her husband regularly beat her and her 5 children throughout their marriage. Seven month later, last February the 4th, 10 days before millions across the world celebrated their love for one another, Manal Assi, also 33, also a mother, was bludgeoned to death by her husband, with a pressure cooker. Our most recent victim is Christelle Abu Chakra, 31 this time and also a mother. She was reportedly abused throughout her marriage and finally poisoned. At least 26 women have died as a result of domestic violence since 2010 alone. Malika, Adel, Baghdad, Bouthayna, Mona, Sonia, Niliane, Amina, Latifa. It just so happens that we have the names of the most recent ones. The less lucky ones are simply known by their initials and the least lucky ones are still unknown.
I went to the protest organized by KAFA and others on Sunday the 21st of July 2013 to support Roula Yaacoub’s family in the northern city of Akkar. I cannot possibly explain how it felt like to stand in front of her father, her mother, and not be able to say anything. I had nothing but an inexpressible mixture of sadness and anger in me at the time, feelings that are still with me to this day. We were around 200 people, some who had come all the way from the South and the Bekaa, to protest this cruel murder.
The KAFA protest
This Saturday the 8th of March, on International Women’s Day, thousands of Lebanese are expected to take part in what might be the biggest protest of its kind in recent Lebanese history. The protest, organized by KAFA (Arabic for “Enough!”) will have a simple demand: we want a domestic violence law that protects all women against such barbaric abuses. The protest will take place at 2 pm from the National Museum to the Palace of Justice. Thousands are expected. You can RSVP here. If you feel like cycling to the protest, a whole group is planning just that (RSVP). If you’re in London, a protest is planned in front of the Lebanese embassy (RSVP). The hashtags of the event on Twitter are #March8 and #ProtectWomenLB. The first hashtag will be used many women’s rights NGOs around the world so make sure to use both at the same time.
The event is explained in Arabic, English and Armenian (French soon). You can find KAFA on Facebook and Twitter.
The Mothers speak out
If you’re still not convinced, listen to the mothers of Latify, Christelle, Roula, Manal and Fatima tell you why you should join.
Those who are planning on taking photos at the protest and are willing to share them, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m trying to get as many photographs as possible in one location. They will be published in a separate post and everyone will be credited.
You can also find me on Twitter @JoeyAyoub
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In related news, please note that the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London UK is showing SCHEHERAZADE’s DIARY on 21 and 22 March. Description: “This engaging tragicomic documentary follows women inmates through a 10-month drama therapy/theatre project set up in 2012 by director Zeina Daccache at the Baabda Prison in Lebanon. Through their unprecedented theatre initiative, entitled Scheherazade in Baabda, these ‘murderers of husbands, adulterers and drug felons’ reveal their stories—tales of domestic violence, traumatic childhoods, failed marriages, forlorn romances, and deprivation of motherhood. The women of Baabda Prison share their personal stories, and in doing so, hold up a mirror to Lebanese society and all societies that repress women.” For info and tickets visit http://ff.hrw.org/film/scheherazades-diary?city=4
How can Lebanese who are “intelligent and socially chic” accept these outrageous acts to go unpunished? Wake up! This is 2014 – not the Stone Age.
Reblogged this on Just Mym.