British Columbia

Blinded UBC student to speak about attack that took her sight

Rumana Monzur was brutally attacked and blinded by her husband in her home country of Bangladesh five years ago.

Monzur was blinded in attack by her husband in front of her daughter

Rumana Monzur was brutally attacked and blinded by her husband in her home country of Bangladesh five years ago. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Rumana Monzur made headlines when she spoke out from her hospital bed about being brutally attacked and blinded by her husband in her home country of Bangladesh five years ago.

Today, she is an advocate for women's rights and this Thursday she will deliver the keynote speech at the 20th annual Big Sisters Spring Lunch.

"I think woman need to know about my experience and what can be the result if they tolerate injustice and violence for a long time," she said. 

"Even though I was educated I didn't know how to face society if I were to divorce," she told CBC host Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

Monzur was studying at the University of British Columbia and was also an assistant professor at the University of Dhaka at the time of the attack. 

She has now completed her graduate degree in Political Science at UBC and is studying to get her law degree.

Monzur has been so busy studying that she says she hasn't had time to really adjust to being blind. 

"If I want to go somewhere I don't travel on my own. I am always with someone sighted," she said, adding that she has been too busy to learn Braille. 

'Lost 2 eyes but gained thousands'

Inside the house she is comfortable and can cook; she owes much of her accomplishments to the the support she has received. 

"I just never felt like I was alone," she said, "I felt like I have lost two eyes but I have gained thousands of them."

But she says she still misses seeing people's expressions and laughter. 

Rumana Monzur says she still misses seeing people's expressions and laughter.

Monzur said her role as a mother also pushed her to keep going and not give up. 

Her daughter is now 10 years old and she was with her mother during the attack.

"She is doing great. I am glad she was really young so that nothing is there in her memory," Monzur said, adding that she has signed up her daughter with Big Sisters. 

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition and Claudia Goodine.


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Blinded UBC student Rumana Monzur continues to inspire

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated that Monzur had a law degree. In fact, she is still in the process of completing it.
    May 24, 2016 12:39 PM PT

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