TW: This episode features discussions of abuse.
Joining Andy this week on Be Grand is Dalal Alshohaib, whose story of escaping a forced marriage is both a harrowing and inspiring tale, which took Dalal from Saudi Arabia to the States, before finding a happy ending in Ireland.
After growing up in Saudi Arabia, Dalal’s life changed completely when at the age of eight her family moved to the United States. Here Dalal fell in love with the culture and enjoyed incredibly happy schooldays. However a move back Saudi Arabia saw Dalal struggle with an oppressive culture she was no longer used to. This was followed by an increasingly abusive situation at home and at the age of 18, she was given the news that she would be forced to marry a man she had never met.
Dalal chats to Andy about the dark times that followed, as this marriage obliterated all feelings of hope as she felt she life was no longer her own, and the measures she took in order to survive.
The story does however have a happy ending as Dalal eventually escaped this marriage, and fled the country to start a new life in Ireland with a man she truly loved. Dalal talks to Andy about how even now she will never take for granted the simple joy of sitting on the sofa, watching tv, with someone you truly feel safe with.
Dalal’s story is a truly astonishing one and she hopes it is proof to people in similar situations that there is hope, no matter how dark things can be.