Marium Aktar – Murdered in Pakistan for Teaching Hooping

September 2, 2015 Caroleeena HoopinginterviewUncategorized

Marium AktarMarium Akhter is a young hooper from Karachi, Pakistan I have been following since she participated in World Hoop Day in 2009. She began hooping at age 6 and, even though she was from a poor family with a deaf father, by age 15 she had raised the money to make and give away over 4,000 hoops and taught five whole communities, both girls and boys, to hoop.

“I am working on my mission, peace by hooping, changing old thinkers’ minds by hooping.  Some of them do not like females, girls especially, doing any acivity. I am proud that I am becoming a success. These old minded persons are now under my training to learn hooping.  I want to be super star of the hoop!”- Marium Aktar

And she was. Throughout Pakistan, Marium was known as “Wonder Marium”. Many people in Pakistan were proud of her and thought of her a symbol of the bright future of Pakistan. Here is a blog that talks about her and her work: Hareem’s Blog

I just found out that on July 31st, Marium was murdered by fundamentalists for her work teaching girls to hoop. I am so sad today.

As the years passed, it became harder to keep up with Marium. YouTube was blocked in Pakistan and she was later forced to take down her Facebook page. I am not even sure yet of the circumstances of her murder. I will share more when I know.

Marium’s inspiration was her father, Akter Jahwed. This amazing man was born deaf and almost blind and yet he built a business, married, and worked tirelessly for the rights of girls and women in Pakistan. You can read an interview with him about their work here: Interview with Akter Jahwed

I am devastated by this loss but I will NEVER forget Marium! She is an example of a loved child who went on to change the world. She was courageous and creative and simply remarkable. The seeds she sowed will continue to grow. The people who murdered her took a bright light from us but they did not stop what she created. They simply watered those seeds with her blood and made each and every planting stronger.

I am going to hoop some love to Marium right now. If you want to learn more about this amazing young woman, check out her profile and her pictures on the World Hoop Day website, one of the few places you can still find her on the net: Marium Akter: World Hoop Day Ambassador

Marium_Teaching

UPDATE: As I learn more about this story, it appears Marium had a secret wedding to a controlling fundamentalist man who did not like her dancing to music. He wiped her website and social media presence and made her stop hooping. He also kept her from her family. She became sick, I think with lupus, and he denied her medical care and she died. Her family wasn’t even told at first. She left behind a baby boy who is also being kept from them.

Marium Aktar

10 Responses to “Marium Aktar – Murdered in Pakistan for Teaching Hooping”

  • […] by fundamentalsits!” and the unfairness of that sent me into a spiral. I wrote this blog: Marium Aktar blog, Then I learned that it wasn’t an out and out murder but a killing by omission, but denying […]

  • Karrina says:

    back when she had a Facebook she messaged me telling me of her beautiful story and how she was on a mission to change the world . This breaks my heart so deeply and brought me to tears . What a beautiful spirit she was

  • Anna Hulagan says:

    Dear Caroleeeena…thank you so much for passing on this tragic story. Marium and I had been in touch years ago and had some communication over some years but lost contact. I have not stopped crying since I was told about this a few hours ago. This is a tragedy that I can’t quite fathom right now but I will, like you, try to find out as much as I can over the next few days. I don’t know exactly what can be done but this beautiful and courageous female’s tragic story is one that has touched me like no other… I know it’s not, but it feels personal. If there is anything I can do to help, then I will. But right now, there are just tears for this shining light of love. Anna x

  • What do you mean by secret marriage? Did her parents marry her off? Did she run off to get married?

    • Caroleeena says:

      She got married without their consent or knowledge. They did accept him into the family once the deed was done but he and his family cut her family out of her life.

      • Shellie says:

        Her parents were present at her wedding. They sent a few of us some very beautiful photos of the her, her parents and her husband on her wedding day. Also, I found out that the baby is not being ‘kept’ from them really, but he is with the husbands family. They go visit the baby (named Abram/Abraham) and provide the mother of the former husband (who is sweet but poor, says Marium’s father) with whatever the baby needs. The funds raised in the fundraiser that we are creating will help with money for the baby’s needs, hoops/supplies for her pop to keep spreading the hoop love ~ and also we are looking into charities to help support the mission. Hopefully you’ll share the link for the fund here once we get it up and running. Lots of details to work out but we’re almost there :) I hope these updates help everyone to understand what’s going on and how we can help as a community. Thank you for reaching out to your network and helping to support her mission, we know you loved her as we all did. Mahalo.

        PS – It definitely was lupus. Father says the family was too ashamed to tell them she was dying because they couldn’t afford the treatment so they just kept silent. Its all so crazy. The more I communicate with her father the more sad the story gets. The young man who she married, also only 19, lied to Marium saying he was very rich, with BMW cars and businesses in Dubai and that he would support her performance. Then she found out he was lying and this is when the deceit and control began to rob her of her life force. Akhtar says she became sick because she was not allowed to continue her passions and soul purpose. I feel like her death is tragic and profound, the latter being only true if we can really unite as a community in her honor. Blessings.

  • This is a sad notice for Pakistans people and good people everywhere. Personally I am also dedicated to teaching and supplying hula hoops to people from all over the world. I hope to do it in Pakistan some day too. Certainly her spirit is still active hooping and helping people be happy no matter where they are.

  • Dayna says:

    This is the saddest thing ever. My heart goes out to everyone whom she has impacted in a positive way. I stand by her. It’s terrible that “fundamentalists” had to take such offense to a woman with a circle. How empowering, striking down someone teaching a fantastic way of life. Stories like this one really upset me. How do you expect to evolve when you can’t even love your fellow human. Disgusted with the people who did this to Marium, and also sad that her light was snuffed out by egotistical bullshit.
    – Dayna Morse (citizen and inhabitant of the planet Earth.)

  • Kathyne Hoops says:

    Please will there be further information about this tragedy? we all are so chocked.

    • Caroleeena says:

      Hi Kathyne, I have added a small update taken from a letter from her father at the end of this blog post. To me, it makes it even worse because she was betrayed by her own husband.


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