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A Tajik Nurse Kidnapped in Yemen Arrives Home and Gets Straight Back to Work

Rofiza did not waste time when she came across a road accident when driving back to her home town of Panjikent. Screenshor from video uploaded by RFE/RL's Tajik service.

Rofieva did not waste time when she came across a road accident when driving back to her home town of Panjikent. Screenshot from video uploaded by RFE/RL's Tajik service.

A woman that left her hometown in Tajikistan a nurse has returned a hero.

Gulrukhsor Rofieva, a Tajik citizen held captive in Yemen for 105 days, arrived back in her homeland on February 21 and was straight back to work the same day, administering First Aid to a man injured in a road traffic accident. 

Sent to work in Yemen through a Russian agency, the 36-year-old nurse was working in the women's department of a military hospital in Marib, Yemen when she was kidnapped by a local tribe on October 29, 2014. 

Thanks to the efforts of both the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Yemen and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan (MFA), Rofieva was freed on February 10 in exchange for the release of a local prisoner.

She flew into the capital Dushanbe on February 21, 2015. But in a twist that has made this happy ending story even happier, RFE/RL's Tajik service, Ozodi, reported that Rofieva gave first aid to a man involved in a car accident on her way back to her provincial hometown, Panjikent.

As one Ozodi reader wrote:

Худованд нигахбонатон бону Гулрухсор хамеша дар хидмати мардум бошед аз ин пас агар системаи тандурустии Точикистон кор карден хатман аз адлу инсоф ба духтуроне ки барои дилбардории беморон пеш аз хама кисаи вайро нигох мекунан насихат кунен ки ин дунё бако надора.

God bless you Gulrukhsor! Always help the people. If you work further in the health care system of Tajikistan, please preach to those doctors who look first into the pockets of their patients.

The story of Rofieva's kidnapping in Yemen had been followed by many people in Tajikistan. Ayor, another commenter on RFE/RL's Tajik service criticized those who were skeptical about the Tajik MFA's ability to help bring Rofieva back.

He wrote:

Eeee kani hamun nafare ki Xudro Беном–mexonad!!!!gufta budi ki Xudat chorata bin hukumati Tj tura najot nameta—– fikr mekardi mardum besohibay Ee rahmat ba konsuli Tj ki dar istanbul rafiqoni mara hamsinfoma kumak kardand to vaqti parvoz… 

Where are the ones who were writing not to expect any help from the Tajik government? You thought nobody cares about the people? Thanks also to the Tajik consul, who also helped my friends in Istanbul…

But the government did not escape censure completely. Tajikistan remains the most remittance-dependent country in the world according to World Bank figures, with over 90% of its migrants working in Russia and the money they send home equating to over half of GDP. 

A reader calling himself ‘A slave of Russians,’ expressed his anger at the life endured by the country's million plus migrant workers.

He wrote bitterly:

Е кош хамаи гарибоне ки аз зери зулми уруси берахм ба ватан бар мегарданд чунин бо кахрамонона пешвоз гирифта шаванд. Е кош ба кадри хар як точики чигарсухта бирасанд на факат холатхои алохидае ки хукумат ба хотири обуруи худаш истифода мекунад.

I wish every Tajik migrant who came back to his motherland from the oppression of merciless Russians was welcomed as a hero like [Rofieva]. I wish they appreciated every Tajik, not only the ones who help to burnish the government's image. 

Rofieva's case is not the first time a Tajik citizen was kept hostage in Yemen. Tajik doctors were kidnapped by local tribes in the Middle East country in 2007 and 2011. Relatively higher wages have already attracted around 70 doctors and nurses from the impoverished Central Asian republic to work in Yemen. 

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