This is a true story. The life story of a young girl named Mona Heydari.
You might think I’ll be telling you a story of teenagers and high school students, but you’d be wrong. The story of Mona’s life isn’t about her school days, or about fiery teenage love, or about school vandalism.
The story of Mona is real and scary.
One day, Mona’s uncle asks her to marry his son Sajjad. She’s only twelve years old then.
Mona thinks that saying she doesn’t love Sajjad will be enough and these people will get rid of her. But no! The life of girls born in Muslim and religious families has never been so easy.
Girls don’t have the right to disagree with their families, so Mona has no choice but to marry her cousin. When I say marriage, you can read legal rape! When I say, husband, you can read about a legal rapist! Mona’s life ends on the day of her wedding.
Mona is forced to live with her abuser. She has to do his housework, sleep with him and give him a baby. These are exactly the things that according to Islam are the only reason for the creation of women!
Sajjad humiliates Mona every day. When he beats her, he yells: “You took my honor, how dare you reject my marriage proposal and say you don’t love me?”
In the Middle East, rejection is not defined among Muslim men. Men choose women, women obey. That’s why Sajjad felt offended by Mona’s rejection and sought revenge.
Every few days, Mona runs away from Sajjad’s house, takes refuge in her parent’s house and begs them to get her out of that hell.
But Muslim families have a proverb that says: “A woman goes to her husband’s house wearing a white dress and returns with a white shroud.”
The life of Muslim women has never been easy.
Mona lived for years in that torture center. The statutory rape resulted in the birth of their son.
Divorce was now a distant dream! Whenever she talks about divorce, they tell her:
“What kind of mother are you to let your child go?”
“Now you have a child, what are these words? Be patient for the sake of the child.”
Mona never lived as a human being. Her desires didn’t matter, no one ever asked her opinion, just like the rest of the women around her. But Mona, unlike the rest of the women in her family, has a rebellious spirit.
One day, she takes what little savings she has saved and a piece of gold that was a marriage gift from her family and runs away from her aggressor’s house.
She makes it to Turkey, where she hopes to finally live as a human being, the way she wants to live.
Mona is just a child, a child who wants to be free, but the world is unkind to wounded seventeen-year-olds.
In Turkey, Mona meets a Syrian refugee, but when he finds out about her life story, he steals her money and gold and kicks her out of the house.
Mona is heartbroken and wandering. She is alone, without money and no place to stay. She finally decides to call her father, who speaks kindly to her, and says he’ll come find her.
A few days later, Mona’s father finds her in a childcare center. Mona hugs him, and they walk around the city for a while, taking some souvenir photos.
Mona thinks her period of misery is over. She thinks her family finally understands she is serious about her plans to divorce Sajjad. She thinks they will help her, but she’s wrong. Life for Muslim women has never been so simple.
Her father forces her to return to Sajjad’s house. Mona cries and begs. She tells him Sajjad will kill her, but her father is determined.
A few hours later, the local residents witness a scene that will haunt their dreams forever.
Sajjad walks down the street smiling, bloody knife in one hand, Mona’s head in the other. He is proud of what he’s done, the stigma is removed from his life.
Mona’s short life is over, but she was not the first, and she’s not the last. Countless Monas are living with their killers today. They are born into a live of pain, and they wait in silence for the day of their murder.
23 November, 2022