One of my very best students came on Wednesday for English class. Nobody else showed up, so we did what we sometimes do, which is tackle the Arabic-language version of "The Little Prince"- translating it into English. However, before we got going, she told me that a schoolmate and friend had killed herself the day before. Doing such a thing is unfathomably shameful here, as Islam forbids it. Of course, this being a not-so-big town, the story circulated and I heard different permutations of it from others.
Based entirely on hearsay, the story is as follows: The girl (high schooler, probably about 16) was three months pregnant. Her boyfriend had said, at the beginning of her pregnancy, that he was prepared to marry her. Later, he changed his mind and told her he'd have nothing to do with her and she would be on her own. Sometime shortly after an argument with her mother, the girl committed suicide.
Given the associated shame for the family involved, I don't think there are any statistics kept here about how common this kind of thing is. However, I do know that this person is but one among many teenage girls who end up doing this because of what they see as an inescapable, life-time prison waiting for them. Over the last couple of years, two girls who were forced by their families to marry the men who had raped them have opted to do the same thing.
Women here do not have options, particularly if they are single and have children. The local girl who decided to end her life was probably aware of what was waiting for her. What could somebody have told her? "It'll get better, you don't know what the future will hold, maybe things will improve"? I'm not sure that you could honestly say that.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.