I believe this says a lot!!
August 31, 2011
By Kevin Flower, CNN
We first met Mohedeye and Nedaa Dawabsha sitting quietly on the floor of a small room in their family's modest house in the dusty West Bank village of Duma. Neither of the sisters were able to leave the room.
Connected to harnesses around their waists was a meter-and-a-half of chain links, binding them to a heavy metal locker in the corner of the room.
According to their family Nedaa, 21, had been confined like this for the past 10 years and her sister Mohedeye, 25, for the past two.
Mohedeye and Nedaa suffer from severe mental disability, their older sister Intesar Dawabsha told us, and are incapable of functioning without constant care. Mental illness ran in the family, Intesar explained, but her sister's condition was particularly severe.
"They need someone to take care of them 24 hours, to give them food because they cannot eat properly, they cannot do their basic needs, they cannot change their clothing, they cannot clean themselves, they need someone 24 hours," Intesar told CNN.
The sister's parents, Uthamn and Houda Dawabsha, are both battling illness and are not up to the task of caring for Nedaa and Mohedeye, according to Intesar.
Houda is laid up in bed most of the time and Uthman, who works as an itinerant farmer, says jobs are few and far between and that he's lucky if he makes over fifteen dollars a day.
The Dawabsha family members say the lack of resources mean they were not able to provide the girls with the necessary care -- and it was when the two girls began leaving the home in the middle of the night and entering neighbors' houses that the family resorted to tying them up.
"I'm very worried for my sisters, especially because sometimes they leave at night and they cannot make any difference if anyone will attack them," Intesar explained. "I am very afraid that one day they will be sexually attacked, I'm very afraid they will be raped."
And in this conservative Palestinian village of just over just over 2,000 people, there were also concerns about tradition and family honor.
"I prefer that they will stay in the chains," said Majeda Dawabsha, the girls' cousin told CNN.
"Because the other option is that someone could rape them and you know that the question of honor in this society is very important and the fact that she is disabled doesn't ease the penalty," Majeda said. "All that we have in this place is honor ... to be bound is better than to be killed."
honor and rape