The harrowing story of Aesha Mohammadzai has transfixed the world ever since the then 12-year-old girl’s attempt to escape her horrifically abusive forced marriage left her grossly mutilated and wanting to hide her face in shame.
Now three years after a shocking photo of her resulting disfigurement was splashed across the cover of Time magazine, the young Afghan woman can finally look in a mirror again and smile thanks to groundbreaking reconstructive surgery that helped rebuild her features — and RadarOnline.com has photos of Aesha’s new face.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Mohammadzai became the face of Taliban brutality against women after her husband and his family hacked off her nose and ears when she tried to flee from the Taliban fighter whom her family had traded her in marriage to in order to settle a debt.
“Every day I was abused by my husband and his family. Mentally and physically,” Aesha told ITV’s Daybreak morning show through a translator. “I thought about escaping all the time. Then one day it became unbearable. So I ran away.
“They caught me and put me in jail for five months. When I came out the judge sent me back to my husband,” she went on to reveal. “That night they took me to the mountains. I didn’t know what was going on.
“They tied my hands and my feet and there were other people there too – Taliban. They said my punishment was to cut my nose and ears. And then they started to do it,” said Mohammadzai, as she debuted the successful surgery performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
After overcoming the many emotional and physical challenges she has faced since moving to the U.S, Aesha is finally ready to be an inspiration to other victims. “I want to tell all women suffering abuse to be strong and never give up,” she told Daybreak in her groundbreaking interview.
Now age 22 or 23 — she is unsure because she never celebrated a birthday in Afghanistan – Aesha is settling in with her adopted family in Frederick, Maryland, where her foster father says she lights up the house.
“She made our life a little more complete,” revealed Mati Arsala. “Honestly, we as a family would do anything for her.”