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Jordan: Reema, We Refuse to Let You Die in Vain

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 2 girls and 1 boy, was cowardly shot while she was asleep. The assailant is her husband.

Blogger Aboosh opens with these words in a poignant and moving obituary written for his aunt.

A few days ago, in the Jerash Governorate, Jordan, Reema was shot by her husband during her sleep [Ar]. The reason for this murder? Her husband believes that his wife was a “victim of sorcery” and that she would kill him first; he claims to have been told by a ‘well-trusted’ man that his wife was affected by a murderous spell.

It has since become apparent that the victim, a 35-year-old English teacher and mother of three, suffered years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband.

Aboosh brings to light the kind of role model Reema is, particularly for young women of Jordan:

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 is 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.

Aboosh refuses to let Reema die in vain, and asks Jordan to take action so that some good may come from this tragedy. He urges the government to provide support and protection to abused and victimised women. He also calls for the government to focus on education regarding “magicians”, exposing their lies and holding them accountable for the crimes they cause.

Aboosh also calls on society to address these problems, acknowledging that society “bears the heaviest role” in change. He urges the following:

1. All mosque leaders and tribe aldermen 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 rot there, where they belong.

The blogging community has reacted with support to Aboosh's post, and has spread his message.
Jansait highlights issues of punishment in Jordan, where women have little access to family protection, and preservation of ‘honour’ can be used as a mitigating factor in murder cases.

Jansait asks:

How many women should be killed before we wake up? before our government and or King Abdullah and Queen Rania do something? seriously these souls are not toys! these women are the root, source and reflection of the future Jordan. what future are we looking at now?

Jansait also addresses the problem on Twitter, calling for action from the Royal Family:

while others, such as Majd support Aboosh in his call for policing the actions of so-called “magicians”:

[Authors note: سحرة is Arabic for sorcerer or magician. ]

Jansait urges people to take action:

and the people at Womens Rights on change.org have taken action and started a petition in order to raise awareness and put pressure on the government to enact change. It opens:

The Royal Family and The Government,
As authority figures, I ask you to speak out and convert all the legislations into actions on the violent crimes against women in Jordan. To make Reema Al-Abed, a 35 years old woman, a mother of three who was shot in her sleep by her husband for no sin, the last victim.

In addition to legislative change, the petition also calls for the establishment of accessible shelters and crisis centers for females victims of violence in both urban and rural areas. It can be signed here.

Readers have left hundreds of messages on the news reports covering Reema's death, expressing outrage, as well as offering their condolences, as here:

لا حول ولا قوة الى بالله ان لله وان الية لراجعون
There is no transformation nor strength except through Allah. We belong to Allah and to Him we return.

While Aboosh, in his blog, maintains a heartfelt determination in urging society to learn from Reema's murder:

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.

2 comments

  • It so tragic reading Aboosh post. Her aunt could have made a difference for Jordan’s society and for the muslim women as a whole. She is a great loss to us wanting to have better lives for women. Let us put a stop on women abuse.

  • […] ushers the Jordan government and Royal Family to enforce the laws to protect women in Jordan. Global Voices, Elites TV and 7iber have also ran extended pieces on the story. Many follow bloggers and tweeps […]

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