Endless Suffering: Stories of the Latest Two Arab Victims of Violence

Published June 9th, 2021 - 07:14 GMT
violence against women
Social media has increasingly been the only tool for women to protest injustices they are facing. (Twitter: Artist unknown)

In the course of two days, Arabic-speaking online users have seen trending a number of hashtags meant to either mourn the loss of Dina Thae'r in Iraq or plead for justice and safety for Jordan's Mais al-Rabie'.

For more than a year now, the rising violence against women in Arab communities has been part of an ongoing internet conversation, one that does not only generally discuss the disparities women face in highly conservative communities but also uses the internet as a tool to rescue women whose lives are endangered by family members.

Using the hashtag #حق_دينا_ثائر (Justice for Dina Thae'r), Iraqi users mourned the loss of 20-years old Dina Thae'r, a young girl from Al Diwaniyah after she was killed by her father for expressing her love for a young man who had already asked her family for permission to marry her. 

Translation: "The man did propose to her as per religious rules and yet they committed the biggest sin and killed her."

Translation: "When an Iraqi girl refuses to get married (in an arranged way) the first thing they do is they doubt her morals and sometimes try to imprison or kill her. An Iraq girl in love? She can be killed easily because she is not entitled to this very basic right; to choose the person she wants to spend her life with. These are the simple feminist issues faced by women in the third world."

According to online sources, Dina's attempts to persuade her family of the man she loved had triggered her father to kill her. However, her family insists that Dina has committed suicide.

Many Twitter users shared anecdotes shared by Dina's closest friends accusing her father of the murder, in addition to a Facebook post by the man who had proposed to her, in which he also accused her family of killing her and "depriving him of the love his life".

Jordan's Mais

At the same time, Jordanian female users of Instagram and Twitter started an online campaign using the hashtag #ميس_في_خطر (Mais is in danger), telling the story of 17-years old Mais Al-Rabie', who has been violently abused by her family for years while they resided in Saudi Arabia.

According to online records, Mais's family sent her to Jordan recently to stay with her brothers, but the abuse continued to the extent that she was sexually abused by her older brother. 

Photos showing Mais' body with bruises and blood have gone viral with users have been calling on Jordanian authorities to place Mais, who has managed to escape her brothers' house, to provide adequate protection for her.

Friends of Mais have also explained that she had asked the Jordanian Family Protection Department for help many times but always ended up being returned to her family after they pledged to stop abusing her.

On Tuesday night, an Instagram user reported that Mais has been found by the police and that authorities have promised to never allow her family to take her home again.

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