“People living in a residential suburb of Jeddah had no doubt that the empty house in the area was haunted.”
“Strange sounds could be heard coming from the house…”and I turned the page.
Last night I received an e-mail from a young lady telling me that she had read a story about domestic abuse that neighbors knew of but had done nothing about… I thought, “another maid has been abused,” as if so common it elicits less of a response than a yawn… Ho-hum… Not this time.
Apparently there is a woman in Jeddah who lives in a house, alone, where she has been locked in by her three brothers, because, for whatever reason, “she [can’t] live with them.” After the death of her father, five years ago, the rest of the family – these brothers – moved away. Not before, however, putting a chain on the door and bars on the windows – where this unnamed woman has since remained, as a prisoner. Umm Samar, a neighbor says that when the brothers were still living there she could hear “them beating her almost every day.”
Pardon me? Did you say you could hear this happening almost every day? And it didn't occur to you ever - not even once - to call the police or some other authority to report this?
A few generous souls, the aforementioned Umm Samar, among them, have tried to help her and “slip food to her.” Umm Samar says that last Ramadan she “received a telephone call from the woman asking if she could have some food. The poor girl told me that she was starving and that there was no food in the house, no money and worst of all she had been locked inside deliberately.”
When was Ramadan last year? Didn’t it start in October? It is now going on the end of June! Eight months have passed, and still no one has called an authority to investigate the situation of a woman who you know is locked in a house, with bars on the windows, with no way to escape and no way to communicate with the outside world?
[The phone call the young woman made to Umm Samar was done on the borrowed phone of a passer-by.]
The article says,
Certainly there must be some law against imprisoning someone! Does this young woman any idea how fortunate she has been for the past five years that she has been safe and sound and that there has been no fire, or equally tragic emergency, from which she would be unable to escape? And now, now that the world does know about this – can – or will – this situation just continue on, status quo, as reported? Shouldn’t one – if not all three – of the brothers be called upon to respond to the authorities in some way? Brothers!?! What kind of “brother” would let his own sister live like this…
“The young woman, who is in her early 30s and has more gray hair than a 60-year-old, refused to talk to Arab News fearing that her brothers might harm her. It seems that she has accepted her life the way it is and is unwilling to share it with the world.”
Umm Samar says,
“She is a good girl, we all know her but it seems she has been unlucky.”Unlucky?!? Yeah. I'd say so...