Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Remarkable Story

NOTE: The following article was pieced together from the original Russian with an online translator and my crummy Russian. Apologies for any mistakes!

Almost three years ago, the event shook the entire country: an 11 year old student become pregnant! She has now given birth; the father of the child is a young Tajik named Habib.

Now 14 year old Valya Isayeva continues her studies in seventh grade, while bringing up little Amina.

"I study in the day, coming home at five. I do my homework, play with Amina and then I make supper." says Valya.

Habib now works in construction, and contributes to the upbringing of his daughter. He lives in a working hostel, but visits regularly. He plans to marry Valya as soon as it is legally possible.

Valya diligently works on her assignments.

The young parents with Amina as Valya's grandmother, Antonina Aleksandrova, looks on.

Little Amina is now 2 years and 2 months old.

- Komsomolskaya Pravda, 19th September 2007

Now, this story strikes me as remarkable not because of the young age at which this girl has become a mother, but rather, how this story has unfolded. I do not find a young mother particularly shocking - bear in mind that girls in times past would be married early on to far older men and would probably conceive before the age of 18.

In any other society, most men who impregnate a girl of that age (or any other age for that matter) outside marriage would probably either vanish completely, or cough some money for an abortion before deciding whether to leave or stay. Habib, on the other hand, has decided to act responsibly - by earning for his little family, and seeing them as much as time permits.

That the couple is probably Muslim, and, owing to their culture (especially in parts of the former Soviet Union), have primitive ways is beside the point, however.

For all our "civilised" ways in the West (and societies aping the West, i.e. Singapore), how many of us are willing to display similar maturity and responsibility in the face of such an event?

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Blogger anastassia_ny said...

You are SERIOUSLY misinformed. I am a native Russian speaker and has been following this story for some time now. The girl is NOT Muslim. She is an ethnic Russian and an Orthodox Russian Christian, so is her grandmother. As to the guy, he was 22! years old at the time when Valya got pregnant at 11. According to many friends, neighbors and acquaintances of the Isaev family, he beats her up and insists on her marrying him ONLY for the Russian citizenship. This poor child keeps writing letters to anyone begging to get her away from her "Romeo" and her money-hungry grandmother. The photos you have posted are pretty pictures a Russian newspaper pays to the grandmother to take in their endeavor to promote the "Romeo and Juliet" story. Valya is stuck in a limbo. On one side, her grandmother and a 22 years old sexual predator trying to gain his ends, on the other side, apathetic and indifferent child protective services.

Thu Dec 27, 02:39:00 am 2007  

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