PERREAULT Magazine January 2014 - Page 44

December 26, 2013 Los Angeles:

In the era of 21st century we want to be believe that as we progress in many areas such as medicine, technology, agriculture, the world is hopefully turning into a better one to live in. I still would love to think that way. But my reality is far from that. Many women on my side of the world are still kept in hell

on earth, their voices cut off and many of those who didn’t make it go unnoticed, nameless and vanished as if they were never in existence. And those of us who survived the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), are left with an option to either go along with the cultural torture and abuse or detach ourselves from our roots, culture and even our family.

As I write this article, many young children, from birth and on are being brutally mutilated with or without anesthesia, having their healthy organs cut off with razors, scissors, and cut glasses and sewn together with thorns, and if they’re lucky and wealthy, with needle and thread. Those younger children’s innocence is stolen and will be left scared physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then they are forced to live in a darkened world where their cultural inferiority is reinforced and their basic human rights are denied.

My name is Soraya Mire’. I was born in Somalia to a wealthy family and with all of that high regards, it did not change the fact that I was still a prisoner held within my own culture.

I was born into a female body which automatically labeled me a defected human being in need of reconstruction. I became fearful of the sound of sewing machines; which brought memories as if my body was a piece of cloth, sliding through the machine, having nightmares about the needles biting into my skin, and envisioning myself landing on the field of thorns, cut glasses, and scissors. The only option to escape from that painful world was to taste my own blood in hope that one day I could reclaim my human dignity. In doing that I would get the courage to move forward and find my vocal cord to speak from my private wound, private pain and tell the world the unthinkable pain, my truth.

I was 13 years old when my mother told me that she was going to buy me a gift. To my surprise, we passed every store in Mogadishu, Somalia. The gift turned out to be the worst day of my life. My world shattered as I found myself lying on a surgical table, with my hands tied while rough hands start pulling things from a place I had never been touched. The pain was unbearable but the worst image was my mother watching me scream in pain as she stood there and did nothing.

As children, no one asked for our consent before dragging our healthy bodies into the mutilating ritual and correcting our existence.

Soraya Miré

Perreault Magazine / January, 2014 44