As an undergraduate student from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Rumana was a diligent student, and kept herself very busy with her studies and interests. She worked with communities to address issues of minority rights and women’s empowerment, and also organized fundraising for communities affected by natural disasters. After completing her bachelor’s degree in 2002, Rumana enrolled in a master’s program in International Relations which she completed two years later; all this being in addition to her work as a student advisor, and as chairperson of several examination committees. Eager to further her education even more, Rumana looked west to North America, where (lucky for us) she turned down an offer from the University of Toronto, in order to attend U.B.C.
Life in Canada was far different from the life Rumana had left behind in Bangladesh; it was there where she’d suffered silently for years from the verbal and physical abuses of a brutal husband. Leaving such a horrible life behind, she looked forward, seeing British Columbia as more than just a wonderful place to be educated.
It would be futile for me to describe the horrors that Rumana experienced next; because until you hear it in her own words, it’s hard to imagine that one person could ever be as cruel and violent to another human being. But as difficult as it is to hear Rumana tell of her attack, you’ll soon notice something even more powerful emerging from her story:
You will hear a story of hope, courage, and sheer determination that will both inspire you and bring you to tears; and like a tiny blossom poking up through a burning pile of ashes, you will feel a sense of the strength, courage and resilience of this incredible woman who – despite having the very worst happen to her – is determined to use this dark chapter from her life to fight those who perpetuate violence against woman. She’s setting out to create an international army to stop these criminals; and once you’ve heard her powerful message, I’m sure that like me, you’ll also answer her final question with a resounding “Yes”.
I’d like to extend a special “Thank-You” to Rumana for sharing her remarkable story with my readers – It’s a true honour to call her a friend.