One thing no one can avoid when living in the States is the consistent debate over the issue of bullying. The topic has recently been receiving a lot of attention, especially after the release of the documentary film, “Bully”, which conveys the tragic tale of a boy who was bullied so much he eventually took his own life. Browsing through several Arab news sources earlier today, to make sure I get my daily dose of “Arabness”, I came across a fascinating, yet heartbreaking article out of the UAE. Check it out here.

The author discusses a bullying case that occurred in Abu Dhabi, in which Loujain Hussain, a girl aged 11, was badly injured in a schoolyard brawl with four boys. She is now in a medically induced coma, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. I honestly felt sick reading the gruesome details of the incident, and got chills looking at a picture of Loujain in her current state at a hospital in Abu Dhabi. The four boys were identified and told to sign a paper with their parents at a local police station promising not to repeat their actions. They faced no direct consequences from their school though, except for being separated from the rest of the children and kept indoors during recess.

I am finding it very difficult to form a concrete opinion on the case. On the one hand, I feel terribly for what happened to Loujain, and hope she quickly recovers, and believe that the boys responsible should have faced harsher consequences. On the other, I feel that the boys, all aged 11 as well, could not have known  that their actions would lead to such devastating results.

Bullying is not region-specific. It exists everywhere. I am glad that Loujain’s case is receiving media coverage in the Middle East. It is such steps that will help lessen the incidence of bullying in the region by showing the need for stricter policies on the issue.

The incident is still being investigated, and I know that I won’t be able to avoid staying up-to-date with Loujain’s medical condition, as well as any decisions made on the case.

What’s your opinion on the story?


2 thoughts on “Heartbreaking

  1. zeena says:

    In my opinion, I admire the way these boys were dealt with: instead of abandoning them and treating them as evil outcasts, they’re being monitored. This way, future bullying – which could be way more harmful than what they did – would be prevented. I appreciate the fact that they’re being directed into a better lifestyle and means of social engagement.

    This story usually takes the path of suspension and punishment, yet, the problem here is being faced logically so as to be solved.

    I wish this girl, and any other human soul that has been bullied, complete physical and mental healing, the actions are harsh but the reactions are admirable!

  2. I think I agree with you Zeena. It seems that the school is making sure that the boys recognize that their actions were completely inexcusable but at the same time is treating them in a way that ensures that they learn something from their mistake.
    Good news on Loujain though is that she has woken up from her coma and looks set to make a full recovery :)
    Like you said, I hope the reaction to this story helps prevent future occurrences of bullying in schools in the UAE and beyond.

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