Shocked staff and students at St. John's College at the University of British Columbia are raising money for a colleague who was viciously attacked and left blind while on a visit home to Bangladesh.
Rumana Monzur — who was at UBC pursuing a master's degree in political science and is a professor in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital — was allegedly brutalized by her husband earlier this month.
Her husband is in police custody.
From her hospital bed in Bangladesh, her face battered and bruised, Monzur struggled to tell her story.
Monzur's doctors in Bangladesh have said the 33-year-old's eyes are so damaged she is unlikely to see again. They are trying, however, to figure out of if there is a way to restore her vision.
Colleagues say Monzur returned to Bangladesh to visit her five-year-old daughter and husband.
Monzur alleges her husband pinned her to a bed in a jealous rage, gouged her eyes out with his fingers and bit off part of her nose.
"[We are] obviously just absolutely horrified," said Lisa Sundstrom, Monzur's graduate adviser at UBC. "Very concerned for her, for her well-being and for her safety, actually."
Sundstrom said Monzur spoke often of her daughter but little of her husband.
Many at UBC who know Monzur now wonder if there was something they could have done to protect her, she said.
"Thoughts went through our heads, 'Was there anything I could have picked up on to know, what awaited her there?'"
A rally is planned outside the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday to help raise funds for Monzur's medical bills.
Monzur had been planning to graduate in the fall.