London, Feb 27: An Afghan teenage girl, whose nose and ears were chopped off as punishment for attempting to flee an abusive marriage has revealed her new nose following reconstructive surgery.
In her first ever television interview, Aesha Mohammadzai told ITV that she is “happy” with her new appearance. Aesha said she wants to tell all women who are suffering abuse to be strong, never to give up and not to lose hope.
Aesha appeared on the cover of Time magazine and became a poignant symbol of female oppression in Afghanistan following her attempted escape, reports The Independent.
Three years after the brutal attack, followed by a move to America and extensive reconstructive surgery, Aesha now has a new face and a new life.
Aesha was sold to her husband, a Taliban fighter, by her father as part of a debt settlement when she was aged just 12. She was then given over to his family who she says her abused her and forced her to sleep in an animal shed.
She managed to escape the family, but was quickly captured in a nearby mountain range. She says her husband then chopped off her nose and ears as punishment for running away, and she was left for dead in the mountains.
Aesha, however, managed to crawl to her grandfather’s house from where her father smuggled her to an American medical facility where she was looked after for 10 weeks.
Later in 2010, she was smuggled out of the country by the Grossman Burn Foundation, and was taken in by the New York Charity Women for Afghan Women, who supported her and helped pay for her education.
Aesha later underwent complicated reconstructive surgery which required her forehead to be ballooned using an inflatable silicone shell.
The balloon was gradually filled with fluid in order to expand her skin and provide surgeons with enough extra tissue to rebuild Aesha’s nose. Skin from her arm was also used to create an inner lining for the new nose. (ANI)