When Samra was 16, she was forced into an arranged marriage with an older man that she did not know. She was shipped to Canada, barely speaking english, and was forced to perform a role of wife and mother that she was not ready for. Although culturally, Samra’s marriage was accepted by her immediate family members and community, she knew that something wasn’t right. She had bigger hopes and dreams to get an education, build a career, and create a life for herself that was free from her family duties. After ten years of enduring abuse, while slowly saving up money from a small babysitting business, Samra was finally able to attend University and things started to change. At the University of Toronto, Samra was celebrated for her intelligence and found the resources and strength to leave her husband. Today, Samra has graduated at the top of her class, been named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada, and her book “A Good Wife: Escaping The Life I Never Chose” is a bestseller.

Show Notes:

2.15 – Samra’s childhood

6.45 – The mentality of accepted norms 

8.39 – Samra’s arrange marriage

9.58 – Samra arrives in Canada with her new husband

13.45 – Samra describes her first 5 years in Canada

14.27 – Samra tries to end her life

17.40 – Amy’s initial reflection to Samra’s story

18.19 – How Samra pulled herself out of abuse

22.28 – What kept Samra going, Samra started going to school

24.48 – Samra finds the on-campus health and wellness center 

26.21 – Samra starts to push back, her husband abuses her to the point where she decides to leave

29.43 – Samra graduates top of her class with awards

30.30 – Cultural backlash of divorce

32.11 – Rock bottom moment

33.02 – How to capture and listen to your inner voice

37.15 – Samra’s kids become her partners

38.53 – Amy’s second reflection

40.45 – How Samra is doing today, how can people be more inclusive

44.53 – Samra dedicates the episode to her younger sister

46.33 – Amy’s final conclusion, resources for victims of abuse

About Amy Syed