Save Sadat

You are now able to make a U.S. tax-deductible donation through Child Foundation, who has kindly offered to support fundraising for Sadat, by clicking here:

I met young Sadat wrapped in one blanket, in freezing cold Kabul weather, in the back of a cab, her body burned and bandaged from head to toe.


She is 15, and has a ninth grade education. She was proud of her education, excited for life, had dreams and hopes. A few months ago, Sadat was sold in marriage by her father to a man 15 years older than her, son of a local warlord. Sadat told me that from the start, her new husband beat her, tortured her (pulled out her fingernails), and of course, her situation must have felt like rape every night. She went to the local police for help, she went to the chief prosecutor, a woman, and to another female lawyer she knew. Under pressure from her father-in-law, who came in with guns and threatened all parties.... no one helped her. She tried to run away. The cab took her straight to the police, who delivered her back to her husband.


Seeing no other way out, Sadat decided to kill herself. In the way of other local girls before her, she decided to burn herself to death. She poured kerosene from two lamps over her body, and lit herself on fire. At least in death, she would make a statement that some might hear.


Sadat did not die, though the two-month baby inside her did (she miscarried yesterday, in the hospital). Her mother found her, and they took her to the Herat Burn Center, where still, her in-laws came and threatened her. Knowing she wouldn\'t be safe in Herat, 20 families from the village, men and women, came together, pooled their resources to send her to Kabul.


When they reached Kabul, they called Lal Gul, a prominent human rights lawyer they\'d heard of. I was with Lal, volunteering for the Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (AHRO) he chairs, when he got the call. We rushed to the taxi, which was parked outside the hospital. Sadat\'s mom was beside herself, and Sadat could barely say a word.

Lal immediately called the media, who aired her story several times over the following days (it\'s still airing) on Afghan News.

Here is Sadat, just after we met her, at the hospital:

BBC Persian has recently aired the story as well, talking about the desperate measures many girls, like Sadat, take in some regions of Afghanistan:


We will continue taking the case to more media sources. (Any connections-- please assist.)


AHRO called government officials to take action (and many have, especially the Minister of Health), asked countless questions of the provincial authorities who did NOT heed Sadat\'s complaints, who sent her back to her abusive husband. AHRO made sure her husband was arrested immediately. They are taking care of the legal side, using the law to make a statement that abusing girls like this can not, must not, go unpunished. Whether we\'re in Seattle, WA, or Herat, Afghanistan, every human has rights.Every girl and boy, man and woman, deserves to live without fear, without abuse, with the chance to live out their dreams.


Lal and the Afghanistan Human Rights Organization are taking care of the legal matters of this case.


Our job, yours and mine, is to save Sadat\'s life.


Our job is also to spread her story, to make people aware that Sadat-- and at least 86 other girls in her province this year, and many others in other areas of Afghanistan and around the world-- are so desperate they do things like BURN themselves to death, so that someone hears them.


Help save Sadat\'s life, and help spread her message.


We can make a difference to this one, and through her, we can send a message showing these young girls there IS support for them-- and showing those who oppress these girls that we stand against them.


Thank you for being a part of this.


Right now, your donations will go towards supporting Sadat\'s treatment-related expenses in Turkey, providing for her mother to go with her, a possible medflight to Shriner\'s hospital in Boston, if necessary, to support she and her mother in any incidental expenses while Sadat is being treated, and afterwards as they get back on their feet.


Funds will be used conservatively, and I, Payvand Seyedali, will report their usage to you if you provide your email address. Any additional funds will be reserved as an emergency fund or similar to help other girls who encounter similar situations and need similar help.


Thank you, again, for being part of this.


You are now able to make a U.S. tax-deductible donation through Child Foundation, who has kindly offered to support fundraising for Sadat, by clicking here:




* Feb 16: Hospitals all over the world contacted, hoping one will treat Sadat for free. We are hoping, especially, for a close one, i.e. India, Dubai, Turkey, but welcome any hospital\'s help. Afghan Ministry of Health getting involved.


* Feb 17: Shriner\'s Children\'s Hospital, in Boston, U.S.A., has agreed to treat Sadat for free, if we can figure out the transport. Thank you so much, Shriner\'s. Since this day, Shriner has called every day, checking up on Sadat and our progress.


* Feb 17: Afghanistan Ministry of Health looking at options to get Sadat to care as soon as possible. The U.S. government is also working, helping us go through the process of applying for Humanitarian Parole for Sadat (and her mother) so they can get to Shriner\'s Hospital, in U.S., for treatment.


* Feb 17/18: The Ministry of Health here has worked with the Turkish Embassy, and is making plans to fly Sadat and her mother to Turkey, where she will get better interim care, or perhaps permanent care if it turns out Turkey can treat her very severe case. If not, Shriner\'s stands ready as long as we can get Sadat there-- possibly after she has stabilized in Turkey but maybe before. Thank you to Afghanistan\'s Minister of Health, Dr. Soraya Dalil and her team including Dr. Jawad Osmani, for their persistent advocacy, and thank you to Turkey, who is flying, housing, and hospitalizing Sadat free of charge.


* Feb 18: We are also asking airlines to donate flight space (for potential Istanbul-Boston flights) ... it is difficult because she cannot lay down. Any airline/flight ideas? Anyone who has a private plane?

* Feb 18: Fundraising started online. Passports printed in record time, and on a holiday. Nice.

* Feb 19: Sadat is stable, but doctors say she needs to be moved fast. U.S. embassy applauds Turkish embassy and Afghanistan Health Ministry, says it is ready to be back-up. However, it is Sunday in Turkey and the air-ambulance can\'t get insurance. Also, it is snowing hard in Kabul and most flights canceled.

* Feb 19: $2226 raised in first 24 hrs of fundraising!

* Feb 19: Board of U.S. based nonprofit, Child Foundation, which serves children in Afghanistan, Iran, and Indonesia, approves special initiative to support Sadat. Thank you! This means Child Foundation will be notifying and soliciting donations from their sponsor base, posting on their facebook, twitter, etc. Also, anyone can donate through a Sadat specific link on their site, and donations will be U.S. tax-deductible. Apologies to those who would have preferred a tax-deductible donation; let me know, [email redacted], I can refund what you paid here and you can donate via Child Foundation instead.

* Feb 19: Child Foundation campaign kick started with a $2,000 donation from a board member. A sincere thank you to him.

* Feb 20: Still no airlift! We had white-out snow today, but it\'s rain now. However, air-ambulance has insurance, Health Ministry remains on it, and we\'ve been assured they will leave Turkey at 8am tomorrow, picking up Sadat at 1:30pm.

* Feb 20: Went to visit Sadat. She looks awful, of course, but better to me- this time I could see her beautiful-- so young-- face. Heartbreaking. I told her there are so many people behind you, from all over the world. I promised her we will take care of her, she doesn\'t have to worry or be afraid. Her voice was frail but she said \"tashakor, tashakor\" (thank you). I told her she just has to \"tahamol\" -- bear this -- and inshallah she\'ll have 60-70 years of a much better life in front of her. She had tears in her eyes and said she couldn\'t \"tahamol\" but in the end she nodded. There were other female burn victims there as well, it was hard to see. Not sure what their stories are. So glad to be helping at least one.

The nurses say her body is holding up well... she is stable but needs treatment.

* Feb 20: $4,763 raised here, plus $2,000 kicked off at Child Foundation. People are amazing.

* Feb 20: Tax-deductible site is now up, on Child Foundation\'s website. Please click here:

If you want a refund on this site, so you can donate on the tax-deductible site, let me know, that\'s easy for me to do!

* Feb 21: Sadat airlifted to Turkey! First operation in progress-- 5 hour operation. We still need funds to care for her during the duration of her treatment, so please spread the word! Here are two videos of the airlift:



* Feb 22: Two operations completed, Sadat still undergoing initial emergency work. She seems to be doing ok. We are waiting for a more comprehensive report. Afghan Health Ministry rep in Turkey has found a hotel to host her mother, free-- great, so we can use more of the money we\'re raising directly on Sadat\'s care.

* Feb 22: Afghan News features a one hour special on Sadat and the troubles she faced. Goes on to discuss the many other girls in the country in the same situation, reasons behind it, etc. Bless the reporter/producer, who met Sadat the first day she arrived in Kabul and helped portray her story. It was important to have this feature so prominently on Afghan News.

* Feb 22: Huffington Post just printed article, let\'s hope it brings more attention, donations, awareness, and support. Here\'s the link:

* Feb 23: I request your prayers and energy on behalf of Sadat. As you all know, the result of good people\'s efforts was that Sadat was airlifted to Turkey, where she is in good hands. Two initial operations went well. She needs your prayers and energy now. The Afghan Health Ministry representative in Turkey, Dr. Attiqula, just reported that Sadat\'s heart stopped for a bit, it may have taken too long to get her to help. There is an infection in her blood stream. They are doing transfusions, two medical teams there, the Ambassador and Dr. Attiqula are at her side, keeping us updated. They are doing their best.... let\'s give a little more and pray for her now, again.

We should have gotten her to care earlier. Personally, I apologize for not pushing harder. But with your prayers, strong science, and God\'s will, let\'s try still to save her. I believe in prayer and energy. Whether you do or don\'t, please give it a try. Please pray in whatever way makes sense to you. Thank you for your compassion, and I will keep you posted 

* Feb 24: A great many thanks to so many who have sent emails and messages inquiring about Sadat. Your love, I am sure, is reaching Turkey where she is still fighting. From what my weak translation skills understand, Sadat\'s blood is really infected. The Red Cross put a call for \"live donors\" in all main Turkish news sources and people will be arriving in the morning to assist her. I\'m not really sure what all that means... I am praying, and I believe she will make it. 

* Feb 26: Dear sisters and brothers. We lost Sadat today. Over the past few days, the support has continued, so many people in Turkey lined up 3 days in a row to give Sadat blood, organized by Turkish media and both countries\' health ministries, but it appears we were a few days days late and the infection was too widespread.

I know your hearts are breaking along with mine. I am filled with anger that this happened, that Sadat, like so many, was a victim of unjust brutality and disregard. I\'m so sad that we couldn\'t fix this situation with all our efforts. I ask God to grant her peace and comfort forever, and I\'m so sorry we couldn\'t give her that on earth.

I offer my prayers and condolences to her family. After a couple days, maybe we can discuss pushing next steps, things that people in relative power have been motivated to suggest and initiate, i.e. the embassies here want to fund a burn hospital, two organizations have mentioned creating an emergency reaction fund/process, and of course, we will continue to push for justice against those who didn\'t help her, her husband who abused her, and keep the media involved in publicizing those consequences to deter others. Together we will still prevent at least a few others from reaching such desperation. Also, in future days we will discuss what to do with any extra money we have (Child Foundation and its donors have doubled what we\'ve raised here) -- I will create a few options, from returning yours, if you want, to taking care of another girl, or contributing to one of the above projects, etc.

I think for now we should take a day or two to mourn, and to send our thoughts and energy to support her family, and everyone who has come to love Sadat, as I believe many of us have. We all mourn in different ways. I will wear black tomorrow, and I pledge to talk to at least one person about Sadat. I know we\'ve all pretty much been doing that, but it helps me in a situation like this to continue to feel like I\'m doing something. Otherwise I think it would be more devastating than I could handle. 

The only immediate task is to write a press release, which Lal asked me to do, originally for AHRO (the Afghanistan Human Rights Organization). He now suggests that the press release be released as a joint-release between a few organizations, not just from AHRO. I think, if we can (I don\'t know how press releases work) it should also be a joint release with us all included on it, i.e. we should also add your names, you incredibly compassionate individuals who have been supporting Sadat, someone you\'ve never met, from far and wide. If only everyone in the world was like you.

Please see your email inbox for information about the press release.

* Feb 27: A day of mourning for Sadat.

* Feb 27: Any donations that come in from today forward, and some of the donations we\'ve already received, will be used in Sadat\'s spirit, to assist other girls in the same horrible situation she was in.

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