Untold Stories


Toufa Muhammed Ali (23) has a hard time holding back her tears when she tells us about the education she was never able to finish.

«I wanted to study medicine. I wanted to become a surgeon who could save the lives of my countrymen. There isn’t any med school here, and I was studying in Algeria when my mother got some serious lung-problems, which unabled her to take care of the family. My father, bless him, is a martyr in the struggle for freedom, and as I was the eldest daughter I had to come back to the camp to look after mom, our house and my younger half-sister.»

No one forced Toufa to return, and she knows her aunt gladly would have looked after her mother. But this was never an option for the young Saharawi woman. According to tradition it is the eldest daughter’s duty to take care…

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About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
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8 Responses to

  1. orples says:

    Maybe someone who can help will see Ms. Ali’s story and help to achieve her dreams. She seems like such a noble young woman.

  2. I am glad that there isn’t a ‘like’ button to press for this series. Thought provoking and thanks for blogging the story

  3. So important for these stories to be told…thank you.

  4. LensScaper says:

    A beautiful portrait, Otto. A sad but all too common story in countries like hers, I suspect.

  5. CherryPie says:

    A good portrait, her beauty shines through despite her difficulties.

  6. emilyjsantos says:

    I can see that she is a very strong woman for sharing her story.

  7. Michelle Gillies says:

    Such a waste. A bright, young woman with her life in front of her…and so few options.

  8. I think I got a little ahead of myself and commented on the original blog site, Otto, but I must say that this was appropriately very disturbing to me. This isn’t a part of the world that I have previously been in touch with, and I’m ashamed to admit my ignorance here! But you’ve given me a reason to learn more and my heart is really moved by this young woman’s story. It was an important story to share. Debra

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