It was with sadness, but also with joy, that I read the story of journalist Lubna al-Hussein. She's the Sudanese woman who was arrested because she wore pants in public and was imprisoned because she refused to pay a fine as a matter of principle. I felt sadness because this incident revealed that despite so many tragedies that have happened in the world with respect to the oppression of others, and despite those who have shed their blood for justice and peace, injustice is still occurring—in this case in the name of the law.

However, it is with joy that I learned of the heroism of al-Hussein, a woman who stood up for what is right and, in return, will free many who don't have a voice. It is a lesson to every woman that we should never look the other way and accept the wrongs that are perpetrated against us or against any other human being, man or woman. Al-Hussein said in one interview: "I had chosen prison, and not to pay the fine in solidarity with hundreds of other women jailed." It is a great example to all of us.

What happened to al-Hussein touches my heart because of my own story. Injustice, no matter what shape it takes, hurts in the same way. It is the same evil of hatred and oppression that disguises itself in tribes, different countries, races and religions. What happened to my tribe during the genocide in Rwanda is no different from what's happening to al-Hussein and the women in Sudan.

Before the genocide in Rwanda started, I was a college student and had everything I needed. I had an easy life and was protected by my family and friends, who loved me very much. I had never experienced tragedy before. We knew there was injustice toward my tribe, the Tutsi, but I thought that ignoring it was the best way of dealing with it.

The day her life changed forever


Next Story