Inab: I was 13 when I was cut

30 Sep

Hi, it is me, Inab. I have promised to tell my story. Let me continue.

I live in a small village in Djibouti near the Somali-Ethiopian border. Our village is situated in the mountains and it is very dry. We have only a few days rain. 18 months ago we had the last rain. Nothing grows here and there is no water. There are almost no jobs and people struggle every day to survive. Most of the families live in small huts they have built on their own. They use every material they can find.

All girls are cut in our region. When I was six years old, my mother told me to visit our neighbour and to play with their children. This was a trap. An old ugly woman, the so called cutter, waited there and other mothers have brought their daughters too. The grown-ups held us down and blocked the entrance. The cutter started her bloody cruel work. The girls screamed of pain and blood was everywhere. I pretended that I fainted or even died. My mother took me outside to check on me. I took my chance and ran away. I hid myself for almost two days. Then I returned to our hut. The cutter had left the village and my parents were very angry.

I have not seen my girlfriends for many days and two of them disappeared forever. I was told they are in heaven now. Until I was thirteen years old I invented every year new diseases to save myself from FGM. Either I pretended to have a headache or my stomach was aching or I just hid somewhere. When I became thirteen they finally got me. I suffered the most terrible pain anyone can imagine. I felt so humiliated.

A few weeks later my mother disappeared. I did not know why. My father told me that I have to take care of my little brother and my two little baby sisters. But I had to go to school too. Every day I got up at five o’clock in the morning and prepared food for the whole family. School starts at seven o’clock. I was always the best in my class and since three years I am the representative of my class. I speak French, Arabic, Somali and English. My little brother Idriss has been discovered for the film Desert Flower, he plays Waris’ little brother, the “old man”.

By chance I met Waris Dirie and her Desert Flower Foundation. Waris became my hero and my dream was to work for the Desert Flower Foundation. I am a fighter against FGM. I have already saved my two little sisters. They are the only girls in our region not cut. But I want to save more girls. Today I work in the headquarters of the Desert Flower Foundation in Europe. A lot has changed in my life in the last few weeks. I will tell you more tomorrow.

LOVE,

Inab

One Response to “Inab: I was 13 when I was cut”

  1. Mårten Johnsson October 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Hello Inab, Thank you for writing about yourself. your job is very important, I wish you all the best. Fight on. I admire you. And a big hug to you

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