Archive for the ‘Acts of Bravery’ Category

The Face of Bravery

We go through our humble little lives, day after day, happily (or not-so-happily) engrossed in our own little dramas and minutiae (yes, I had to look that word up to remember how to spell it. I know how to say it, though. Min-oo-sha.) We read about those who perform acts of bravery, of selfishness and we think, “Oh, I could never do that.” But we can, and we do. Those who are brave often don’t realize it until they have acted heroically. The mother who leaps in front of a car to save her son. The bystander who pulls over to help someone in need. They don’t go looking to be a hero. They just become one.


This is Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein. She lives and works in Sudan. She is a journalist who works for the UN in Sudan and who was eating at a restaurant when she and almost a dozen other women were arrested. For wearing pants.

The women were taken to the police station and lashed 10 times. They now face up to 40 more lashings and a fine of around $100. Lubna was offered the opportunity to have immunity from the UN or continue with the trial. Lubna resigned her position, declined immunity and asked to proceed with the trial. Oh, and did I mention she showed up for her trial wearing the same outfit she was arrested for wearing?

Scores of people crammed into the courthouse to hear the ruling, many of them female supporters — some of them also wearing trousers out of solidarity.”

Reading stories like these really puts life into perspective. It opens our eyes, makes us realize how much is taken for granted by those of us that have so much freedom to live our lives as we see fit. Yes, we have a lot of problems in this country. Yes, we fight each other and call each other names. But at the core of all of that is an assumed same-ness that we will always have. We are free in so many ways.

My daughter will never have to worry about the police taking her to the police station and lashing her for wearing pants. I wish that was true for the daughters of these brave women. I wish them well.

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