Hannah Sultan was a twenty-four year old female from the UK that was described by friends as ‘The most down to earth person in the world’, she loved spending time with her sisters, going out shopping and to the movies with them just as many girls do. She was in her final year of University studying Biomedical Sciences. Unfortunately leading up to the exams her grandmother in Pakistan passed away due to a long battle with sultantoto lung Cancer. This tragedy left Hannah and her family in pieces.
After the funeral in Pakistan, Hannah and her family returned to the UK, Hannah went for her first exam:
“I remember sitting in the exam, opening the exam paper and my mind was completely blank, I could not take in any words or understand anything at all” (Hannah Sultan)
As you can imagine the results came back and Hannah already knew she was not going to pass but did not tell anyone in her family because she did not want to cause any more heart ache. She was already preparing to re take the exams she had failed. Her mother walked into her room and asked if she had passed, Hannah replied “No mom”, Her mother grabbed Hannah’s arm and dragged her down the stairs to her father and shouted “YOUR DAUGHTER IS A FAILURE! SHE IS USELESS! SHE CANT COOK, CLEAN AND SHE HAS NO FUTURE!” Her father sat quietly not saying a word.
“I remember the atmosphere in the room, It felt as if we just heard the heart breaking news of my grandma passing away again, it was horrible, words can’t describe it” (Salma Sultan/Sister of Hannah)
Hannah stormed to her room in tears, closed her door and curtains and lay in bed covering her head as she could hear her mother swearing and insulting her from downstairs. The next day Hannah got ready to go talk to a lecturer at her University to obtain more information on re-sitting her exams. As she was leaving her father called her from the living room, her mother stood next to him, Malik Sultan the father of Hannah said: “You are going with your mother to Pakistan to marry your cousin Amjad, I have booked your tickets already. You will learn to cook and clean for him, you will live there forever as you have brought disgrace on our family, All you are good for is dressing up with make-up and having fun in this country”, Hannah replied: “WHAT? I am going to retake my exams and I will pa..” before she could finish her mother slapped Hannah on her face and said “Shameless dog, how dare you talk back to us?!”
Hannah’s sisters who are all younger than her were at school and college so were unaware of the situation. Hannah then ran out the house as fast as she could, crying, she went straight to see her best friend Mumtaz.
“I remember seeing Hannah, her eyes were blood-shot, face pale, shivering and shaking, I took her in my house, sat her down and gave her a glass of water which she could barely hold without shaking” (Mumtaz/ Friend of Hannah)
Hannah begged Mumtaz to keep her safe and let her stay at her house, and of course Mumtaz did. Mumtaz’s parents took Hannah under their wing, they advised her to carry on studying and apply to re-sit her exams. Hannah’s parents sent messages through her sisters to Hannah saying that she is dead to them, her sisters would visit every day without fail. Salma (Hannah’s sister) would try talking to her parents explaining the situation but her parents were too hot-headed and full of pride. They would often say “I can’t show my face outside knowing my daughter is a failure and a runaway girl”.
Months went by and day by day Hannah could see that Mumtaz’s parents were struggling looking after an extra person in the family.
“They were not too wealthy, but extremely kind and generous, they had done more for me in a few months than my own parents had done in my entire life” (Hannah Sultan)
One day while browsing through the Internet, Hannah came across a dating website, her beliefs were – if she met the right person, she can marry and would not have to depend on Mumtaz’s parents anymore and free them of their burden, so she decided to create an account.
“I was not the type to talk to guys on the streets and I never had many guy mates, I was always reserved and fairly shy” (Hannah Sultan)
She searched through profiles; she was not too fussy about looks but rather for someone that could support her mentally and financially. She came across a seemingly genuine man, 29 years old, and so she sent him a message wanting more information from him. After a few hours he replied and the conversation went well.
“He was just so understanding, he listened to me, I told him my story and he was very caring, he did not ask me to meet up alone, he said consult your friends parents and we can all meet together in a public environment” (Hannah Sultan)
Hannah told Mumtaz’s parents about the man she had been speaking to via the dating agency and her parents were extremely excited. They met at a restaurant for dinner, Ibrahim (The man she had been speaking to) brought her flowers and gifts for mumtaz’s parents as well, and they enjoyed dinner and were both very happy with each other. Through more meetings they decided to get engaged and have an engagement party.
“I was pulled towards her instantaneously, her personality and way of thinking is what attracted me the most, I knew from the start she was the one I wanted to be with forever and I wanted to mend her broken heart and take all her pain away” (Ibrahim)
Hannah was pressured by her sisters to invite her mom and dad to the engagement party, but they did not turn up. Although Hannah was extremely happy, a part of her was still missing, her parents absence. They did not attend the wedding either, most of the people at the wedding were from Ibrahim’s side, Hannah’s sisters and friends attended from her side. Hannah and Ibrahim bought a house together; a year later they had their first child, a beautiful baby girl. The following day after the birth Hannah woke up in hospital from her nap and saw her Mother and father standing in front of her holding a pink teddy bear and tears streaming down their faces.
“When I saw them, my heart stopped, everything was like slow motion, and I thought ‘am I dreaming?'”
Hannah’s parents hugged her so tight and asked for forgiveness, they apologised so many times for what they put their daughter through and they realised their fault. Hannah forgave them as she wanted her daughter to grow up knowing her grandparents.
Today Hannah works in a hospital as a biomedical scientist while her husband continues to run his own business, baby Amirah stays with her grandparents during the day while Hannah and her husband works.
“Before my parents came back Ibrahim gave me so much love he mended my broken heart, I owe my life to him and I thank the dating agency for helping me find the man of my dreams” (Hannah Sultan)