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She was the fourth daughter of her Bangladeshi-born parents.“The fourth unwanted daughter,” she said, citing the deeply rooted cultural belief that boys are more worthy than girls.Her mother began taking in foster children to help pay the bills while also trying to raise her own kids, an overwhelming task that left her exhausted and depressed.When they argued, Tania’s mother would yell at her daughter, “I wish I’d never had you! Tania began to feel sick and noticed a slight protrusion in her abdomen. “People said I was a hypochondriac.” Relatives and doctors dismissed her concerns.They had most recently been living in Egypt but had been forced to flee that country amid the chaos that followed the 2013 ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood–led government.They’d headed for the eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, about thirty miles from the Syrian border, where people spoke Arabic and her husband could find work.So the family piled onto the bus, squashing into seats with a dozen others.
Tania thought it would prove how pious she had become. “When I first brought it up to my parents, they hated it,” she said. But no one could tell me why.” When she was seventeen, she saw news of the 9/11 terror attacks on TV. ” Some of her new friends were members of ultra-conservative groups and were supporters of jihadism and political Islam.
Standing on a dusty street that August night, Tania, who was five months pregnant, was furious.
The family had been living like nomads for a decade, and she was sick of it.
” Sometimes, they’d use the roof of the family’s car as a toilet.
“I remember being five years old and wanting to run away,” she said.