British Columbia

Blinded B.C. student fears for her future

Rumana Monzur, in her first Canadian interview, is asking her Vancouver supporters to pray for her recovery after she was blinded in an assault while on a visit to her native Bangladesh.
Rumana Monzur spoke to CBC News from hospital in Bangladesh on Thursday. (CBC)

Rumana Monzur is thanking her Vancouver supporters and asking them to pray for her recovery after she was blinded in an assault while on a visit to her native Bangladesh.

In her first Canadian interview since the June 5 attack, Monzur, 33, spoke to CBC News Thursday from her hospital bed in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

"My greatest fear? I won't get my vision back and I will have to be dependent for the rest of my life."

Her husband, Hasan Sayeed Sumon, is in police custody, charged in the assault, in which he also allegedly chewed off part of her nose.

"I really appreciate people [in Canada] are so concerned about me," she said. "I would thank them all … for giving me moral strength."

In Bangladesh she had been visiting Sumon, her husband of 19 years, and their five-year-old daughter, after studying for nine months for a master's degree at the University of British Columbia, where she planned to return.

Daughter witnessed incident

Monzur said she doesn't have the emotional energy to be angry now.

Monzur was a postgraduate student in B.C. (CBC)

"I'm not in a position to feel anger," she said. "I just wish this doesn't happen to anyone else, because I'm suffering."

Sumon allegedly gouged Monzur's eyes with his fingers, with their daughter witnessing it.

"The last thing I saw, she was screaming and telling her father not to hit me, not to do that," Monzur said.

She said her concern now is for her future with her daughter.

Fears dependency

"I'm trying to be very normal in front of her, but you can imagine, her mother is in the hospital, she can't even see anything … so i don't know what's going on in her mind.

"I can't plan anything, I can't do anything, I don't know what will happen to me and what will happen to my daughter."

UBC officials are sponsoring fundraising events for Monzur and said they are investigating ways for her to finish her studies.

A rally to raise funds for Monzur is scheduled outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.

With files from the CBC's Priya Ramu