Do you know about Sahar and Esra?

Sunday September 22 2019



 Nafha Maani Ebrahimi

Nafha Maani Ebrahimi 

By NAFHA MAANI EBRAHIMI

Social media and news channels in two different parts of the world, have been busy reporting about two young ladies, Sahar and Esra both from the Middle East, both now resting in peace, away from the sad circumstances that caused their early demise.
Esra Ghareeb, from Palestine, the West Bank, died at the age of twenty-one, under mysterious circumstances, but with indications that her family were the behind her death. The picture of what exactly happened is not yet clear, but family violence against girls is not a strange matter in that part of the world, we often hear about crimes of honour.
I have written about this issue, every time with a heavy heart, because I know that this honour they refer to, only concerns girls, a man can get away with meeting girls, talking to them, taking them out without the social norm that requires them to have an official connection, such as being his wife or fiancé.
However, girls are not free to connect with men that are not officially known to the family. It seems that Esra fell victim to a rat in the family circle who manipulated the male members of the family to punish her because she went out with a stranger, some say that she was not alone with him, but chaperoned by a female family member, and her mother was aware about this outing. Esra was beaten, and no one helped her.
In another part of the Middle East, in Iran, a different storm started brewing, a young lady by the name of Sahar Khodayari (known as the blue girl) set herself alight after months of frustration with a court case against her. Sahar, like many Iranian women, has a favourite football team that she supports, but in Iran women are banned from entering football stadia.
some women try to sneak in to cheer their team, mostly disguised as men, this is also what Sahar did when she was caught and sent to jail pending her trial. Sahar is known as the blue girl, referring to the colour of her favourite team.
There is not much more I can say about these two cases, it is clear that as we are reaching other galaxies and planets, here on earth we still have such atrocities committed against women, some times with no shame in the horizon.

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