Kamala Sankaram, left, portrays activist Mukhtar Mai in the opera “Thumbprint,” at the Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theater (REDCAT) in Los Angeles, California, June 16.
Photo by AFP / Robyn Beck
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Pakistan rape victim attends U.S. opera her story inspiredFifteen years after her horrific gang rape by a local clan in her village in Pakistan, Mukhtar Mai is reliving her ordeal through a U.S. opera inspired by her story. The opera, by composer Kamala Sankaram and librettist Susan Yankowitz, recounts Mai's 2002 rape and her decision to defy her attackers and take them to court – an unusual move in Pakistan, where a woman who suffers such a crime often commits suicide rather than endure the stigma and shame associated with it.The men had raped Mai – with the approval of the village council – as a punishment after her 12-year-old brother was falsely accused of having an illicit relationship with a woman from the dominant clan in the village.
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