She took a deep breath and ran inside, her black abaya swirling around her, and fell to the floor at her uncle’s feet, hugging his knees, her face pressed against him, her shoulders heaving.
The reproaches came immediately. “How could you do this?” her uncle said. “You were always so sweet to everyone. How could you have done this?”
What Faheema, 21, had done was to run away from her home in eastern Afghanistan with the man she loved. She left behind her large family and the man that her family had promised her to. Although her uncle’s words at first seemed kind, his tone had a dangerous edge: Faheema had to come home.
For a young woman from an Afghan village to go home after running away with a man is tantamount to crossing a busy street blindfolded: There is a strong likelihood that she will be killed for bringing shame on her family.
Faheema, who like many Afghans uses a single name, was one of the lucky ones: She had made it to an emergency women’s shelter, one of about 20 that over the last 10 years have protected several thousand women across Afghanistan from abuse or death at the hands of their relatives."
Read article by Alissa J. Rubin from The New York Times.