Mukhtar Mai visits US to raise money for her institutionsDecember 11th, 2007 - 6:37 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Dec 11 (ANI): Mukhtar Mai was given a standing ovation in Sacramento, California where she had come to raise money for her school, a clinic and a womens shelter.
“My motto is injustice should be fought with knowledge. Sometimes men forget there are womens rights,” she told her audience.
“Id never heard of a school; in my village, there never was a school. The first school I went to was my own. Im still in the fifth grade. I can read Urdu with difficulty,” a US daily quoted Mai, as saying.
Mais school provides education to 700 girls and 300 boys all aged between 4-13. She said that she was yet to forgive her attackers.
“I asked that their kids come to my school, because illiteracy is what caused this,” she said, adding that five of their sons now attend, “but their daughters are not coming”.
Mai, a local newspaper said, had “brought her message of hope and courage” to the city.
She spoke to a mixed religious gathering, describing how she had opened the first school in her village and challenged a feudal system that had imposed tribal justice for centuries.
Pakistani-American journalist Ras Siddiqui said while some Pakistani Americans “see Mai as airing our dirty laundry in public this incident doesnt represent normal Pakistani life most applaud this brave woman from rural Pakistan promoting education and womens empowerment after herself being a victim of the worst kind of abuse”.
Siddiqui noted that despite all the attention focused on religious extremists in Pakistan, “it was the village imam who first spoke up in defence of Mai after she was attacked. But, it was Mai herself who turned the tables on her attackers”.
Mai is due to sign her book, In The Name of Honour, at a major bookstore before attending a fundraiser at a five-star hotel, the Daily Times reported. (ANI)
Tags: american journalist, attackers, brave woman, dirty laundry, empowerment, feudal system, fifth grade, fundraiser, honour, illiteracy, imam, injustice, message of hope, promoting education, religious extremists, sacramento california, standing ovation, star hotel, tribal justice, womens rights