The extraordinary graduation of Rumana Monzur
When Rumana Monzur addressed her fellow law school graduates at the University of British Columbia this week, you could hear a pin drop. The idea she spoke about — facing life's challenges with a smile on your face — might have been unremarkable coming from someone else. But not from her. When she began law school, she was newly blind and still having difficulty navigating the corridors and classrooms using her white cane.
In 2011, Rumana Monzur was a graduate student in political science at UBC. In June, she went home to Bangladesh to visit her family and write her thesis. That is when her husband attacked her. He bit off half her nose and gouged out her eyes. Their five-year-old daughter watched it all happen.
A friend spoke to her a few days after the attack. "Rumana, you must speak up." And against all odds, she did. With her father beside her, Rumana Monzur gave a press conference from her hospital bed, and became the embodiment of the fight against the abuse of women in Bangladesh.
Her Canadian friends raised money, UBC stepped up to the plate and within a month Rumana Monzur, her daughter and her parents were in Vancouver. Despite multiple surgeries, the damage to her eyes was irreversible.
In 2013, documentary producer Karin Wells met Ms. Monzur. She was at law school, waiting for her class on Torts, the study of when one person can sue another. Karin's documentary is called "A Thousand Eyes."
Click 'listen' above to hear the documentary.