My Story Moved to the Timeless City of Cairo. I Was Wowed.
On July 15, 2022, at 3:00 pm (Cairo), I launched my book after tireless months of preparation by the South Sudanese coordination team in Cairo under the young leadership of Luka Jal. The event took place at the beautifully decorated Evangelical Church Attaba at the heart of Cairo, a City that always wins every visiting heart.
As usual, the event kicked off with opening prayers followed by the playing of the National Anthem, and an introduction to my biography before it could open officially.
My wonderful editor and a friend, Kamille Thomas took over the podium, narrating the story behind the book, recounting painful memories, and stressing the courage and boldness with which I approached my story. Kamille told the audience that customs and traditions like early forced and arranged marriages needed to cease. She mentioned that my story should now serve as a painful lesson for the next generation of girls and women. That the why of the book was simply to avoid this kind of thing from recurring. Kamille stressed that the book was here to condemn these practices that violated women and girls' right to belong, to have dignity, and to contribute effectively to the grand design of humanity.
In my author's address, I started by building on Kamille's brief opening speech. I mentioned that at the age of 14, I had dreams. I wanted to go to school just like a normal girl. But I was arranged for and forced to marry a man I did not like. "I was made to respect culture at the cost of my individual freedom," I told them. I also spoke about the need to invest in mental health as a society. I shared my own mental health issues as a practicing nurse without knowing that I needed some help. I revealed to the audience that the most shocking experience that I learned about after my book went viral and during the tour was young men being arranged for and forced to marry women they do not like or even know exist. In the three locations, I had been to prior to Cairo, and from the testimonials, I read from these young men, I learned that negative customs also affect men.