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Tunisian girl’s safe life and bright future dreams thanks to AAI’s support.

Tunisian girl’s safe life and bright future dreams thanks to AAI’s support.

Since the Arab Spring, the Tunisian youth has been adopting progressive values. Fatma is one of those young Tunisian activists. Her father passed away when she was ten and she was living with her mother, brother, and younger sister. To support her family, she has been working in a cell phone repairing shop since she was 16.

Her ideas, like her pairs, clashed with the old values of the Tunisian society. She started expressing her thoughts on social media as she grew up, about freedom, chastity, and women’s rights. People with Islamic values called her a woman with questionable character.

Many told her brother that she was seen with men or speaking to men which often resulted in severe beating and extreme psychological torture. The brother frequently threatened her with death. At one point she sustained a bad head injury. Her mother tried but was unable to protect her.

The torture and threat became an everyday event and she learned to live with it, until one day, the brother’s friend killed his own sister which is Fatma’s friend and neighbor. Fatma saw her friend dead and imagined herself in that situation because they both had the same stories and both of their brothers were close friends.

Fatma was terrified and started asking her activist friends for help.

Luckily, one of the active Atheist Support Network volunteers Paula Arevalo was connected with a few of her friends on social media. Her friends approached Paula for help.

Immediately, the Atheist Support Network organized support necessary for her to move to a safe place. Fatma is now 21 and studying IT. With a monthly stipend from Atheist Alliance International, she now enjoys a safe life and dreams for a bright future. She is also the top student in her class.

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Tonoy is a member of the board of directors at Atheist Alliance International.