Saturday, April 30, 2005

Preggy Pinay

Normina, a pregnant Filipina mum jailed for adultery, told me by phone she will get 90 lashes after giving birth to her baby girl.

The baby was conceived out of wedlock, said Normina, 30, a Filipina Muslim from Carmen, Cotabato.

Badri Karki, the Nepalese father, is set to fly back to the UAE in June, with the hope of marrying Normina.

But she fears he might suffer the same fate for violating Sharjah’s strict Islamic rules, i.e. sex/baby before marriage.

I am not sure if Normina was already sentenced by a local court judge.
“I’m luckier because some of the Filipinas inside the jail were given 120 lashes,” she said.

There are at least 10 children growing up in jail while their mums are serving their sentence or waiting for someone to donate plane tickets back home,” she said.

Normina asked me for a couple of favours. One is to get in touch with Heny, her Indonesian friend (mob 6871066) and take her luggage Heny's flat to the Sharjah Central Jail. Apparently, Normina has a stashed away some infant stuff. She also asked me to get in touch with “Projel”, a Nepalese guy working in KFC to tell him to phone Badri in Kathmandu immediately and convince him not to go back to Dubai soon, for fear he might also go to jail.

According to Normina, Badri used to call her regularly from Kathmandu (he was fired from KFC) until the coup happened in which Nepalese King Binendra’s men cut off communication lines from the Buddhist Himalayan country to the outside world and vice-versa.

Normina implored me to bring to the Sharjah Central jail her belongings from her friend’s house in Sharjah. The suitcase apparent contains infant stuff she bought in anticipation of the baby.

Though the lines are back again, Normina is now out of reach in jail. She forgot to bring a charger for her mobile phone.

We’re supposed to visit them on Wednesday with Boy Palencia, the Filipino diplomat in charge of assistance to nationals at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai.

The only thing Normina wishes is for her baby girl come out into the world normal and that she’ll be allowed to keep it.

“I’ll take anything for my baby. My friends used to tell me to get rid of her during the early stage of my pregnancy. But one mistake can’t me made right by another mistake,” said Normina, who has made two trips to a gynaecologist before surrendering to the Sharjah authorities.

“I’ll take any number of lashes as long as I get to keep my baby, who is my only hope. I don’t want to grow old alone,” said Normina.

She worked for three years as a housemaid in Kuwait before moving to Sharjah.
Normina was terrified by the urban legend that unwed mothers are sent back to their home countries, leaving their babies behind.

Palencia assured her this is not true and promised to prepare travel documents for the baby once Normina completes her jail term.

If Badri can’t fly here, and Normina goes back to Cotabato after serving her jail term, I wonder how and when they’re going to meet again.

But if it’s really love, they’ll somehow find a way to meet again.


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