Something more important than the Final Four


Careful. News of the Final Four may fool you. Yes, it is an exciting tournament, but life is not simply an NCAA event. Caution. News of Augusta, Georgia and Tiger Woods return may take your eyes off events that really matter. Yes a man in the U.S. got the most extensive face transplant ever and is doing well. President Obama made an off the cuff remark to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev that give some voters pause and Iran announced that they are developing a new drone. But don’t get sidetrack by these events.

In my opinion, the news that matters now is coming from Sanford, Florida. And the trends that matter have to do with reaction from fans who were sorely disappointed, after watching the movie, when they discovered that the little girl they loved so much and cried for when she died in the book Hunger Games  is black.

And the news that really really matters globally comes from Italy, where 33-year-old Pakistani woman Fakhra Younus jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, where she was continuing her treatment for severe disfigurement on her face and other parts of her body from acid that was poured on her when she was sleeping, allegedly done by her former husband, Bilal Khar, the son of a powerful politician in Pakistan, who was eventually acquitted of the charges.

After 13 years undergoing surgeries (39 to be exact), Ms. Younus finally gave up the fight. It was reported that her body had no more skin to graft. Her face had completely melted from the brutal attack and she walked in pain and agony every moment of her life. Her suicide note said it all. She said she was committing suicide over the silence of law on the atrocities and the insensitivity of Pakistani rulers.

Amazingly, Tehmina Durrani, the former wife of Ms. Younus’ father, took up Ms. Younus’ cause, giving interviews side by side with her and putting pressure on Pakistani authorities to let her go overseas to get treatment. Mrs. Darrani wrote a book, My Feudal Lord, which became a bestseller. In it, she described the horrors she experienced at the hands of her former husband and exposed some very serious issues related to how women are treated under Islam. Needless to say, she is a much hated figure in Pakistan today as she continues to work to help women who have been brutalized by family and relatives recover.

I am going to put a picture of Ms. Younus at the bottom of this post but I warn you: it will be graphic.  I do this for two reasons: 1. Women like her continue to suffer under the evil hands of terrible regimes that continue to treat women like property; 2. I very much doubt that you may have seen pictures of Ms. Younus before or even heard her story; 3. I want all of us to wake up to the fact that we don’t have the luxury of closing our eyes and pretending that after the Final Four we only have to worry about whether Tiger is going to win The Masters and after that come the Summer Olympics in London.

Ms. Younus could easily be one of our own and if you care about those with no voice, she is.

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