The Saudi teen girl who was granted asylum in Canada a few days ago, gave a first series of interviews yesterday. In it, she says that in Saudi Arabia she lives the life of a slave and thus had nothing to lose.
The 18-year-old Rafah Mohammed al-Qunun gained worldwide fame after she secretly fled her homeland but stranded in a hotel room in Thailand. With only her mobile phone in her pocket, she sent a desperate call into the world via Twitter. She wanted to escape the suffocating policy towards women in Saudi Arabia.
In the end, it was Canada that granted the young woman asylum. The ‘life of slaves’ in an interview on the Canadian channel CBC, Rafah now tells that she wanted to escape the violence of her family. “I had been locked up for six months because I had my hair cut”, it sounds. Her mother and her brother committed physical violence against her. “The life of women in Saudi Arabia is that of slaves,” said the young woman.
“My biggest fear was that if they found me again, it will be terrible,” she says. She also stated that she had thought of suicide before. “It was worth the risk, I had nothing to lose,” she says at the Toronto Star.
Since her arrival in Canada last weekend, Rafah already received a message from her family stating that they were rejecting her. The teenager therefore wants to get rid of her family name al-Qunun, and only Rahaf Mohammed. The woman is planning to learn English and find work. “I feel that I have been reborn, especially now that I feel all that love. Tell the Canadians that I love them”.