Image 1 of 1
Muntaha Fleafel is an Iraqi Mandaean, a Gnostic religious minority that follows John the Baptist. In Baghdad she made traditional jewelry that she sold in a small boutique. In late 2003, Muntaha was attacked by three masked men who told her that because she was not a Muslim and did not know God, she did not deserve to live. They took everything in her shop and ran over her with their car, severely breaking her leg. When they continued attacking her, she struggled and tried to uncover their faces. One of the men threw acid on her, but she managed to protect her face with her arm. When they tried to drag her into the car, she screamed and struggled. As people began to gather, one of the men stabbed her in the stomach with a large military knife and left her for dead. Miraculously, she survived. After extensive medical treatment and three years living in a UN woman's protection program in Jordan, she came to the US. She suffers from memory lapses due to the beating, but can't forget what happened to her. More than anything she wants to have plastic surgery to remove the scars on her body because every time she looks at herself in the mirror she is reminded of the attack and the fact that the stabbing will prevent her from ever having children. She sees a therapist and is given medication, but she can't get past the trauma she has endured. Madison Heights, MI, USA. 20/04/2013.