There are dozens of reports in publications around the world about the case of a missing San Antonio teen, Maarib al-Hishmawi, now found alive and well in the care of an unnamed organization that protected her.
She went into hiding because she didn’t want to go through with an arranged marriage (this is the United States!) and she reported she suffered physical abuse by her parents because of her refusal to essentially be sold to a man she didn’t know for $20,000. (Did I mention that this is the United States!).
I read several stories on the case and note that some, including the Washington Post, skirted the subject of just how this family came to live in the U.S. in the first place.
Faithful reader know that I have been writing about the huge number of Afghans and Iraqis (with extended families) which have been arriving in the US for the last ten years and the pace has actually been increasing, especially from Afghanistan, during the Trump Administration. (This family obviously arrived during the Obama Admin.)
Here is the Daily Caller, but if you simply search for ‘Maarib al-Hishmawi’ you will see the story has gone viral.
Authorities arrested a Muslim couple from Iraq March 23 in San Antonio, Texas, for beating and torturing their daughter after she refused a forced marriage.
Sixteen-year-old Maarib Al Hishmawi ran away from Taft High School at the end of January and remained missing until authorities announced they found her as of March 24, according to the San Antonio Express-News. When authorities finally located Maarib, she told them she fled because her parents beat her with broomsticks, poured hot cooking oil on her, and choked her “almost to the point of unconsciousness.” These actions were due to Maarib’s refusal of consent to a forced marriage with an older man.
“This young lady … was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn’t want to be married to this person,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told The Washington Post.
Maarib’s parents, Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi and Hamdiyah Sabah Al Hishmawi, arranged in mid-2017 to marry their daughter to an older man once he agreed to pay the family $20,000, investigators said.
Abdulah became increasingly agitated during the investigation, blaming a lack of police effort for his daughter’s continued disappearance and even suggested she was kidnapped and taken back to the Middle East. Authorities found Maarib, however, in mid-March in another city. They declined to name the group who sheltered her during that time.
Abdulah immigrated to the U.S. in 2016 from Iraq with his six children after having worked for the U.S. forces as an interpreter, he said. Maarib’s family held two year visas for the U.S. but did not go into detail about what kind of visas they were, Officials told San Antonio Express-News. [I don’t know what the reference to two years is, perhaps they have to renew it at that time. I’ll see if I can find out.—ed]
I should mention that SIV families come under the care of the usual gang of U.S. State Department resettlement contractors and are treated as refugees. So, assuming they were resettled in San Antonio, resettlement agencies headquartered there would know them. I guess these parents missed the cultural orientation sessions they were supposedly given.
I expect to see women’s rights activists and the NOW gang out in force condemning arranged marriages!
Find resettlement agencies working where you live by clicking here. They can place refugees within a hundred miles of those offices.