Story of Marium Akhter and her father Akhter Jawed
Writen by Shellie White Light
Yesterday the hoop community and the world received the sad news via a facebook post from Marium’s father, Akhter Jawed, that Marium died on July 31, 2015. She was only 19. I immediately contacted her father to send my condolences and ask for details, as the post did not give specifics on her death, but implied that there was foul play. He responded and thanked me, explaining that her cause of death was complications from Lupus (an autoimmune disease that when treated is manageable but when untreated is life-threatening due to lack of immune response). Ahkter, her father, said that where they live in Pakistan is corrupt and full of fundamentalist ways that oppress women (everyone really), and her Marium’s husband
was a very old Marium Akhter thinker, not allowing her to see her family even though she was very sick. The husband refused to accept money for her treatment from her father, and because of this inaction and control, Marium lost her life, leaving behind an infant son. To clear any confusion, she was not exactly ‘murdered by the hands of fundamentalists because she was teaching hoop dance’. She was actually in an extremely controlling relationship where her husband would not allow her to post on facebook, and deleted her website (according to her father). This is equally as tragic and sad. This is a real issue in Pakistan, and even to some degree here in our country. I will post the entire message from her father after my article, in his exact writing, so that you can read for yourself what he wrote. I feel it is very important to relay the facts from the family first hand, and not pass on and share extreme information that leads to false understanding. I say this with respect to any previous commentaries on Marium’s passing. It is the most important thing to come together as a community, and dedicate our efforts to assisting her father (who was her original hoop trainer) to continue Marium’s mission to give girls a platform to express themselves and have power through hoop dance. Also to organize funding to help raise the child that was left behind in this tragic loss of her very young and purposeful life. We love and honor you Marium, we won’t just tell your story, we will take action!
Marium started hooping when she was just a little girl, in 2007. WonderMarium, she was indeed! Talented and passionate from the beginning, she was taught by her father, and together their shared hoops with over 4000 blessed souls.
When I stared hooping in 2008, I became aware of her powerful presence. I remember thinking, “She is so brave, and she is just a little girl!” She reached out to so many of us here in the US to show us what she was doing. We were all so proud! I felt so thankful that there is a light out there in the darkness, helping women and children to see past the veils of their societal oppression. Marium, and her father, wanted to save the country of Pakistan from the horrors of suicide bombing attacks and old style fundamentalist thinking. I feel that with proper funding and safe delivery, we can make sure that Miriam’s mission lives on! Her father expressed to me that ‘together with your help we could save millions of girls’. Since we lost one very powerful girl, we have the opportunity to come together to save millions in her name. We can at least try. As a hoop community I feel we can do almost anything! Our voices together are very strong and we are also blessed to be able to donate some of our money to a cause like this. There will be a fund, but we are working out the details of who will admin and be the front line of that operation.
When Marium’s father was telling me the story of her husband controlling her life, I could relate. Obviously, I am not faced with the same circumstance at all that Marium was dealing with. But as a woman who has been involved with abusive and controlling men, I can empathize to an extent. We will never know all of the truth; her father says that she was not allowed contact with her family, and that the husband did not actually tell Marium’s mother or father she had died until one month later! So, there are some very uncertain details of her death. We don’t really know, but her father has voiced it was a combination of disease and lack of treatment (which is abuse and in some eyes murder). Regardless of exactly how she died, the fact remains that the world, a small child, a father, a mother, brothers and sisters have lost someone very special who was making a big difference. It is our responsibility to hold her flame high!
If you feel inspired by Marium’s story and want to learn more about her work click this link, it takes you to her father’s website where there are so many great videos of Marium hooping, teaching, performing and feeding disabled people. (Her father is disabled, AND he was the one who taught her how to hoop!) Here is the link > http://vk.com/wondermarium
Here is the link to a blog Marium used to keep >http://hareemsoomro.blogspot.com/2010/08/marium-akhter-wonder-girl-hula-hoop.html
Here is a powerful article (via HoopPortal) on the mission of Marium and her Father, Akhter > https://hoopportal.com/the-dreams-of-a-deaf-special-person-in-pakistan-to-save-the-world-by-suicide-attacks-and-terrorism-by-hula-hooping/
Here is the facebook message, unedited, that I received from her father after reaching out to let him know we love her and want to honor her. I also asked what happened exactly because his original post had us all wondering, so I wanted to clarify.
This is what he wrote back:
“Thanks to send me ,firt kee me in ur connect, second cheek Vk.com /wondermarium
I am typing whole story, she was lives in Muslim country, Performing a crime, teaching Girls is crime and girls,our society low a girl always live in Hijab and Abaya.
but she was performer of musical nights, but only hooping with music.so society says unholy fun.
she also loved with a boy. who was Frad n fundmeanlist, very old thinker,
who first say,i love ur perform,before marriage he says i will promote Your talent you are lighting name of nation,
but after marriage ,he said,do not touch hoop,do not use facebook,do not go out from home withought hooping she get disease of Lupus.
Her lover mean husband not allowed treatment.so she died, but nt fight with or not get ,out of her findmentlist husband or lover,
as roll love or die dhe die for lover ,she leave hooping for love,Last 4 month her husband not allowed her mother of Afther to meet or call,she die but not inform mother or father in 4 month ,how she is now, it is different story of hoop and love. which i am typing.she died but not get Divorce from her lover or husband. She leave a baby boy.please keep me in ur connect, .I am her father,i lost my beautyfull daughter, I tought her hooping .
Her husband deled her famouse page Marim a wondegirl.now i am making new. her husbsnd says before marriage, i have BMW but he ws very poor not have biyc.not home notmony for her treatmen. not allowed m for tretment. Our Low of society,all is Husband.
wondermarium@gmail or wondermarium/youtube.com.wondermarium/vk.com .my and mariums sites. lplease cheek Vk.
i am deaf ,special perosn ,got of land lords remove me from service. due to teching hooping ,girls tranning inhula hoooing
i want to teach hul hooop.inwhole ocuntry i need donation.
i will teach lesion of girs right by hula hooping
few month ago , she was ill ver very. i admet her intoop hospital.
i paid 1000 $ fro her treatment.
hospital iform me she is suffring in Lupus.
her husband or fimly not paid not intrst to treatment a girl who have perfoming life in past,it is ggreat sin
i wll thnks to you,if you make fund for mariums n her baby boy, in few month old. our all govt is crupt ..i am jobless now
me n you cn save million of grils by hoping here
i am only hone hwo know hooping or hooopteaching hoopmakin in this ocutry n mearst ountry
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will be posting the fund on my pages when it is up and running. Getting money to Pakistan seems tricky, and we want to make sure it goes to the right hands and is used for the right reasons. If you have the language tools and/or crowd-funding tools to help run an operation like this, please step forward. Thank you so much.
A prayer for Marium & Family ~
May your spirit soar freely and continue to touch the lives of millions. May you receive your angel wings to comfort your child during tough times. Blessings of protection to your family as they continue to share your work, teaching hoop dance and promoting self-expression to the women of your world. Prayers to the people of Pakistan, may they see the light and know peace. We pray for a world where women, men, disabled and perfectly healthy are all treated equally. A world where no woman is controlled by a man, but loved and lifted up, treasured, cared for and honored. May your name live on in a way that promotes peace, understanding, change and compassion. May the women of the region where you lived be respected and revered as the holy beings that they are, not shamed for showing skin or speaking up. May all beings have the right to education, fitness, money earning and choice. We know and trust that our prayers are heard by the Great Creator of all, and that Marium is in the safe hands of her Maker. Thank you for your life and mission, Marium! All around the world…we bow to you, we love you, we thank you, and we will do our best to honor your life by enhancing the lives of others through the power of the hoop. In the name of God/Allah, so it is <3
Here is Akhtar Jawed‘s Western Union infomation and address if you are ready to send money or hoops/supplies.
Address for hoops/supply shipping ~
A-3/1 , Abuzar Square, Sc-12, Block-N , North Nazimabad (74700), Karachi, Pakistan.
To Western Union Money ~
Name = Akhter jawed . identy card no 42101-1593191-5
city ,Karachi, cuntry Pakistan. mobile# 92+03452276311 .
Address,, Flat no.A3/1. abuzer Squre.SC 12.block N.North Nazim Anad, Karachi/Pakistan. post code 74700.
Special thanks to Shellie White Light for the clarification and her help to understand the situation!
Link to original post: https://www.facebook.com/notes/966772000052963/
Visit Shellie’s website: http://www.ShellieWhiteLight.com/