While at my parent’s house this past Saturday, the topic came up of what happened to one of my sister’s friends from high school. I don’t remember how her name came up. But, I do remember it was when we were walking around the neighborhood after dinner.
I don’t want to use her real name. For the purpose of making this post easier to write and read, I’ll call her Jane. Seems appropriate, since she has disappeared off the face of western civilization. Jane, is the same age as my sister. And she has a brother my age. Her brother was on the swim and water polo teams with me. But, we weren’t especially close. Their parents moved to the United States from Egypt. I remember their father worked as a doctor in our hometown. And I remember that their house faced east. I only remember that because my sister asked me to drive her home one night. It must have been before my sister had her driver’s license. My sister was there in the car. I didn’t know this girl very well. But, as we talked on the way to her house, she struck me as very smart.
The conclusion of high school is where Jane and her brother’s, we’ll call him John, lives split. I saw him at my 10 year high school reunion. He married his high school sweet heart (caucasion girl). He was working as a doctor in Manhattan. And they had brought their cute little infant daughter with them to the reunion. By contrast, Jane was *sold* into an arranged marraige while still a child. While it’s unclear where exactly she is. She’s most likely living in Egypt. Apparently, her husband and his family are well off. Is that supposed to make it better?
The whole idea of looking at your child as property seems to me to be very disgusting. I understand we are talking about a difference in cultures. But, wow. I just don’t get it. Any wonder why many people in the west think that people in the Middle East are living in the 12th Century.
Just a couple of days ago, I was reading about the young bride of Osama Bin Laden who was at the compound when her husband was killed by Navy SEALS. It turns out that was an arranged marraige as well. Bin Laden gave her family in Yemen $5,000.
I don’t get it. How can Jane’s parents (well off), look at their only daughter. A smart, independent young lady and do that to her? Granted, I guess she could have run away from home at 18 to try to avoid it. I don’t know. I only met her once or twice. It just seems unconscionable to do that to another human being.
A woman I knew when we were neighbors growing up now works for an organization called Rapha House, that rescues children from the slave and sex trade in Southeast Asia. I don’t normally support religious organizations. But, in this case I’ll provide a frogtosser exemption. They do good work. I don’t see the difference between selling your daughter off to someone to be their wife and selling someone off to a life in the sex and slave trade. The only difference I can see is that “Jane” is probably living a little more comfortably.