Forgotten Malalas: Nabila Rehman

drone family testify

Nabila testifying at the US Congress with a picture she drew

Nabila Rehman  is from Waziristan, a war torn region of Pakistan that has been controlled by the Taliban off and on for over a decade. She is nine years old and her father is a school teacher. She was almost killed by a rocket, not too long ago.They didn’t kill her or her father, but her grandmother was killed. She was killed indiscriminately, in front of Nabila’s eyes. Her grandmother had nothing to do with anything, she was a simple tribal Pakistani women. Perhaps that was her crime.

You probably have the image that Nabila was attacked by the Taliban for fighting for education. You probably have the image that her crime was being female.

It’s a legitimate judgement. But in this case, it’s just not true. The rocket that almost killed her was a drone. Her crime was not being female, it was being Pakistani. Her grandmother died indiscriminately as “collateral damage”, except that her death had no significance for the bomber.

She came from tribal rural Pakistan all the way to the United States to testify against drone attacks. She came with her 12 years old brother and her father, the schoolteacher. Her father came “to educate Americans” about their situation, about their plight. But there weren’t very many people to educate.

Her story is much like Malala Yousafzai: both are young girls who had aspirations in education in tribal Pakistan and both were almost killed. But there’s a catch. One was attacked by the Taliban and the other by the Untied States. Malala Yousefazi got near to a Nobel Peace Prize, Nabila Rehman is backing home living in constant danger.

“While Malala was feted by Western media figures, politicians and civic leaders for her heroism, Nabila has become simply another one of the millions of nameless, faceless people who have had their lives destroyed over the past decade of American wars. — Murtaza Hussain in an op-ed for Aljazeera

Nabila’s tragic story of what happened to her by violence from western powers is almost entirely forgotten. The Guardian explains the tragedy well. But few people have heard it. Only five of the 430 American lawmakers that could’ve attended attended. Barrack Obama was busy meeting with the CEO of a weapons manufacturing company. Perhaps he was too afraid of the question: “Please tell me, Mr President, why a US drone assassinated my mother?”




One thought on “Forgotten Malalas: Nabila Rehman

  1. Pingback: Forgotten Malalas: Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi | Whispers of Satan

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