I first heard Iman‘s story on the Quranify Me podcast, and continued to hear of updates to her fortunes on the Herd Mentality podcast with that comic genius Adam Reakes. Her story, briefly, is that of a woman born in England, but raised in an abusive household in the repressive regime of Saudi Arabia. Her tale is a horror show of physical and mental abuse by her parents, as well as persecution by the religious police. She tells of one instance of getting 80 lashes just for letting a male friend take her home from school when her driver did not show up. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to be with men who are not male relatives.
Finally, she was awarded a scholarship from a college in Nova Scotia, Canada, and was able to escape her life of torment and repression. Even this did not happen, because her brother actively tried to keep her from going in every way he could.
But her troubles were not over. She arrived in Canada and felt extreme culture shock, to the point she almost considered going back to Saudi Arabia because of it. She eventually adapted, but still had much anger and resentment from years of mistreatment by family and country.
To make things even worse, she was sexually assaulted by a male colleague. She was afraid she would lose her scholarship, so she didn’t report it, which angered the school and made her even more of an outcast. Eventually, she did take him to trial, but not before she lost her scholarship and quit her job. And the assailant (I believe) returned to Saudi Arabia and will probably never face justice.
Despite all of this, she started a new career as a massage therapist, married a wonderful man, and had children. She has become a budding activist for women in Muslim countries who were trapped like she was and who want to escape their situations. She has endured name calling and death threats, but has persevered despite all of these obstacles. Of course she tells her story better than I ever could. Go to her blog at xsaudi.blogspot.ca to hear about her harrowing journey in her own words.
Some time ago, Adam Reakes of the Herd Mentality started a fund-raising campaign via Indiegogo to raise money so she could take a vacation. Apparently, this did not turn out so well, because I guess Indiegogo sucks, and they aborted the campaign with only $300 collected. However, being that Mr. Reakes is a man of honor and genuine kindness, he has started another campaign via his website, with the goal of raising $6000 to give Iman the vacation and respite she so richly deserves. Iman has expressed a desire to take her entire family to the LEGOLAND Resort in Florida, where apparently everything is made out of, you guessed it, lego’s!
So, on behalf of Iman and all she has endured and all she has done, and I’m sure will do, for those who are truly suffering under unbearable repression, I humbly ask that you go to The Herd Mentality’s support page at herdmentalitypodcast.com/support.php and contribute whatever you can to the fund. It’s through PayPal, so you can be assured it is a secure transaction. I thank you, and Iman does as well.