Poverty and the absence of a father pushed my mother to work as a servant to provide for me, my brother and sisters – six of us in all. When I grew up little, I started to help her so I stayed away from school. So, I had to double my efforts and increase my working hours. In the mornings, I washed dishes in restaurants and cafes. In the evenings, I worked in a hairdresser’s. Later, I married a relative but separated him when he decided to give up work as I could not take on the additional responsibility.
One evening, one of the clients at the hairdressers asked why I was sad, I told her about my mother’s sickness and that I could not cover the cost of an operation she needed.
That woman made me an offer which I did not hesitate to accept, and without asking even about how to manage the travelling costs. She told me that it was possible for me to travel to the UAE and work there, asking me to arrange some papers. Within two weeks, she brought me the work visa and air ticket. Then, she told me that I would work in a beauty saloon, and that its lady owner would send somebody to meet me at the airport.
When I arrived at Abu Dhabi Airport, a person met me, and dropped at an apartment and told me rest, because I would start working next day. In that apartment, there was a group of girls who did not talk to me, but looked at me in a strange way.
The next night, a man came to the apartment and asked me to get ready for work. I asked him why we were working so late and when he replied, I was shocked.
He told me that I would work as a prostitute. Naturally, I refused and screamed at him. He hit me sharply before he left, locking the room door and he told me that I had no choice - either I would work as a prostitute or die of hunger.
I spent two days in the room, suffering from the pain of injuries I suffered from regular beatings and from hunger. I had to agree to work until I had a chance to escape, which was difficult as I did not have any money nor even my passport, but the Police raided the apartment after two months, taken everyone out. After interrogating me and examining the bruises on my body, I was transferred Ewa'a Shelters for victims of human trafficking where I got vital psychological and physical care. Without the shelter and its support and assistance, I would not be able to send the money to my mother to undergo her operation and start my life anew.