JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Tuesday 17 September 2013
Last update 18 September 2013 10:45 pm
Popular Saudi TV show “Eight O’clock,” presented by Dawood Al-Shiryan, aired a video report Sunday about Umm Amal, a Saudi woman who was forced to work as a housemaid in Pakistan for 21 years after being raped by a man almost 30 years her senior in the Kingdom.
Umm Amal was just 14 when she was raped after being asked by her stepmother to seek a loan from a Pakistani neighbor.
Her stepmother persuaded her biological mother to leave the country under the pretext that her father would kill her if he learned of the incident.
Her rapist arranged for her to travel to Pakistan.
Her rapist married her legally upon arrival in Pakistan.
She lived in Pakistan for 21 years, earning her living by working as a housemaid. She gave birth to three children during that time.
“I was kidnapped by a Pakistani man and lived in Pakistan this entire time. I re-established communication with my family by chance when I bumped into a group of young Saudis in Karachi and gave them the name of my father. I told them that I wanted to go back to Saudi Arabia because I was afraid that my daughters might meet the same fate. I did not want them to work as housemaids in Pakistan,” she said.
“A week later, I called my father but he refused to speak to me.”
“I called but he hung up again. A Saudi young man advised me to go to the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad, who referred my case to the consulate in Karachi. I followed up on my case with Ubaid Allah Al-Harbi, the vice consul, who said he would send a car to take me to the consulate, but he then found out that I live in a neighborhood known for its high crime rates and didn’t send the car,” she said.
“I took a taxi to follow up on my case, but I was unsuccessful. For two years, I got nothing from the consulate in Karachi. Okaz newspaper raised my case. My father then came to see me in Pakistan. He told me that I have no honor and that I am a terrorist belonging to Al-Qaeda,” she added.
“My father was very cold with me even though I haven’t seen him for 20 years. He did not hug me. He ridiculed my children, saying they look like housemaids. He left a photocopy of my passport with the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad,” she said.
“I am not going back to Pakistan. Now that my father has disowned me, I only have my country left,” Umm Amal added.