An African woman’s “Thank-you” letter to Meriam Ibrahim

meriam
by Obianuju Ekeocha

The great news of Mariam Ibrahim’s arrival in Italy filled me with so much joy and elation.

The images of this graceful and beautiful African woman, babe in hand, stepping out of the plane was a sight to behold especially after her unspeakable pain and suffering in the Sudanese prison.

So I thought I should, in a very simple letter, write down my reflections and thoughts of gratitude for this resilient daughter of Africa whose freedom is being celebrated by the entire world today. On behalf of all African women, I thank you Meriam Ibrahim, for showing the world the indomitable courage that is at the core of authentic femininity. I say this because your pain and persecution were tied so firmly to your femininity. And so your triumph was a most powerful witness to life, to motherhood, to marriage, to love and to faith.

You are indeed a true picture of faith and virtue, a true symbol of strength and resilience. You are, in my humble opinion, a real woman of substance, an African woman of substance and your story fills my heart with courage and audacity in my own vocation to defend our African culture of life,marriage, motherhood, faith and family, no matter how difficult, no matter how shameful and no matter how painful for me.

For under intense persecution, you refused to deny your Christian faith. Under the threat of the extremists, you stood as a witness and a martyr. Under the pain of incarceration, you would not deny your husband or renounce your marriage. Under the heavy shackles of prison you still had the strength and defiance to give life , to give birth. Under the certainty of a death sentence you had the determination to nurse your precious little baby.
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