By Mohammad Al-Abed
حسبي الله و نعم الوكيل.. إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون. اللهم إغفر ذنبنا و اهد قلوبنا و صبرنا على ما أصابنا. اللهم تغمد برحمتك فقيدتنا و ارها مقعدها من الجنة و شفعنا بها يا أرحم الرحمين
A tragedy has struck us.
I never thought it would come to this. That I come to write an obituary for the closest and dearest aunts of all. My aunt Reema, may Allah have peace on her soul, age 35, mother of two girls and one boy, was cowardly shot while she was asleep. The assailant was her husband.
You probably have seen the headlines in the local news outlets here[AR], and here [AR]. My aunt is (and I refuse to say was) the definition of youth, potential and an example of local women leadership. In her life that was cut short, she gathered tremendous support and love from everyone she met or whoever crossed her path. She worked as a passionate teacher in the Mastaba region in Jerash, and finished her Graduate level Diploma exams days before she was killed. She was an example to everyone, with her level of education, her perseverance, and her elegance.
In 21st Century Jordan, she resembles where an individual should strive for. Her work for the local universities, for the local schools and graduate studies has affected hundreds of young local females.
In 21st Century Jordan, she presents the example of local leadership that works against all odds, to reform her surroundings, to present a better future for those who follow in her shadow, and to bring the bottom-up revolution we all seek for.
In 21st Century Jordan, aunt Reema presents the model for all Muslim women around the world: a model of conservatism and modernism, that adheres to the local cultural values, yet, flourish where many have failed.
In 21st Century Jordan, my aunt Reema AbdulHafez Al-Abed, was shot dead in her sleep.
In 21st Century Jordan, my aunt Reema was a victim of the backwardness that so many still live and thrive in.
In 21st Century Jordan, aunt Reema’s educated world, clashed with the retarded, backward-thinking, ill-mannered, jealousy-filled 2nd Century world of her cousin and husband!
In 21st Century Jordan, aunt Reema’s educated nephew, needs to write a blog post talking about the idiocy of a husband who still believes in magic and voodoo, and its affect on marriage, and who killed his wife because of something a fortune teller told him.
This man killed her in cold blood; pre-meditated, and long-calculated. She was a victim of years of mental abuse and a victim of old hatred that consumed this disgrace of a man.
We REFUSE to let you die in vain. We REFUSE to let you be another sad story or another sad statistic in a sad reality that we call Jordan.
The justice system will take its course, and this mockery of a man will receive his punishment, and all those who encouraged him and supported his cowardly act will meet the heavy hand of justice.
But we REFUSE to let you die in vain.
We will have the courage to face your tragic loss with heads held high, and show the world what you have taught us and kept teaching us.
You will light the road in your death as you did when you were alive. You will light the path to all women who are among us, but dead inside; women facing daily mental and physical abuse; women in 21st Century Jordan who walk among us with teeth missing , bruised eyes, hunched backs, and carrying the weight of an unforgiving and a thankless society.
This is not the end of these tragic stories, as we have seen so many come to bitter fruition on a daily basis; but this will be the start of eliminating this retarded and cowardly act from the Jordanian society:
1. The Government must act quickly and firmly to bring protection to these families.
2. The government must become proactive in rolling out programs, with boots on the ground, that act fast to give these victimized women other options.
3. The government must focus its work on education, rooting out the clots of backwardness, and prosecuting so-called-magicians. The jails MUST be filled with their likes.
The government has a role in dealing with this problem, but the society bears the biggest responsibility:
1. All religious and tribal leaders need to educate their local societies about the roles and responsibility of men towards their wives, and how to treat them with respect and dignity.
2. Local women centers need to educate women about their rights and their options to avoid physical and mental abuse.
3. Women must not be scapegoated every time in order to protect her name and her kids. We have seen the price of that!
4. Marriage between cousins or 2nd cousins must be brought to an end. The majority of marriages between relative end up carrying the strains of old blood between family members.
5. All those liars who claim to be magicians or practice voodoo must be exposed and sent to jail to rotten there, where they belong.
It is a stain on everyone of us to be talking about magicians and 7ojob and se7er and God knows what! Why do we calculate the percentage of illeteracy in Jordan or highschool graduation rates, whereas we are still consumed by these folks who walk among us? We have a million miles to walk, and aunt Reema has paid the ultimate sacrifice.
You will not die in vain, Aunt Reema.
We cried heavy tears over your tragic loss, but you are with your Maker now. May Allah rest your soul in peace. God knows how much you are and will be missed. The tears might dry up, but the heart is so heavy
I miss you.
حسبي الله و نعم الوكيل