Mukhtaran Bibi, the inspiring human rights advocate from Pakistan, has a blog. I can't read it, and chances are you can't either. It's in Urdu, hosted by the BBC's Urdu language news service. And it has already become a center within the Urdu diaspora for thos who battle against Medieval laws and violence against women. From the BBC UK feature story on Mukhtar Mai's blog:
"Mostly I talk about incidents which are cruel and painful. I try to discuss only the most serious things in my blog: the poor treatment of women, sometimes leading to killing," she says.
Mukhtar Mai's blog is unique. Although she cannot read or write, she tells her stories to a local BBC journalist, who types it up as a web diary.
And it provides an insight not only into the crimes committed by men against rural women, but also the hardships of their daily lives.
"I sometimes talk about my childhood memories - events that take place at my schools; or perhaps just about the household chores.
"I don't think that the people in our village know what it's all about and what I am writing. But I've received a few e-mails from other places - people who have been reading my blog on line and who encourage me to continue."
When Mukhtar Mai says her blog has prompted a few emails, she does herself a disservice. Scores of emails have flooded into the BBC Urdu site, in response to her diary. Mostly they are from men and mostly they have been encouraging.
"Mukhtar Mai, you have begun a wonderful thing. Such crimes as the one committed against you will continue to happen if the powerful continue to harass the weak," says one man.
"May God grant you the power to continue your endeavour. For the illiterate people of the village, it's not easy to bring these thugs to justice," says another.
Long-time readers of my blog know that Mai's story moved me deeply when the NYT's Nicholas Kristof first brough it to the world's attention two years ago. The survivor of a court-ordered gang rape in rural Pakistan, Mukhtar Mai refused the traditional path of suicide and shame to fight her attackers (and their protectors in the Pakistani government). She won a settlement and opened schools to teach young people to read and write - and to understand tolerance.
Below are some links to a few of the long series of posts, in case you're interested in the background. I haven't written about her in a while, but she remains one of the great heroines of our age - a living symbol of courage. Now she's my favorite blogger.