AMINA AISHA

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Amina was heavily pregnant when she fled the hut where her husband had taken her somewhere across the border in Nigeria three years earlier. She ran barefoot for seven days, hiding in the bush or seeking shelter from strangers and barely surviving a violent assault from armed men who only left her barely alive because of her pregnancy. She describes her ordeal with little emotion, but she flashes a sharp edge of defiance, hard-earned from years stranded in a place where no one spoke her language, fending for herself, and near starvation. When she arrived home in her natal village, she was kept in a cell for days by local police – suspicious of female suicide bombers – until being released to her parents. She was malnourished and bleeding from her pregnancy, and her baby was born by emergency caesarean section. Her baby Ibrahim was born with health problems that continue to this day, and the hospital is holding her identity papers because she is unable to pay them for having delivered her child.

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