LEARNING THE HARD WAY: Or what it’s like for an American woman to be married to an Arab Muslim in Gaza

1382657936002-XXX-Gaza-Kidnapping07-1“It was the most relieved I have ever felt,” she recalled of her escape to Israel. “Four years of hell was finally over.” Rogers is not the first Western woman to marry an Arab man and find out how few rights she had once removed to a Middle East country that abides by sharia, or Islamic law. But some are working to make her among the last.

USA Today  Gunfire cracked all around Sara Rogers as she climbed to the roof of her high-rise home in Gaza. The year was 2005, and Israeli soldiers were fighting Palestinian gunmen to stop rocket attacks and destroy smuggling tunnels.

Rogers closed her eyes. “Just let one hit me in the head,” she begged. “And make it quick.” It was not the months of violence of the Second Intifada that made the Italian-American college graduate ache for death. It was her virtual enslavement by one of the most feared families in the Middle East. Days later, Rogers was in a taxi with her five children, praying her husband wouldn’t catch her and their five children before she reached the Israeli border.

The ordeal of an American woman who was held captive with her child by her husband in Iran was chronicled in the 1991 book and film “Not Without My Daughter.” And a French woman who escaped her Saudi prince husband has yet to be rejoined with her daughter despite a 2012 French court ruling ordering the husband to turn over the child.


The U.S. State Department does not keep records on its citizens who are kidnapped on foreign soil. Though it does try to put pressure on governments for an American’s release, State has gone on record in the past that it has “very limited capability” in Gaza.

When such kidnappings do occur, it often appears as a surprise to women as it was to Rogers, a bright multicultural studies student from upstate New York. Rogers was living with her mother in Las Cruces, a city on the Rio Grande in New Mexico, when she became enchanted by a soft-spoken Arab man working at the Middle Eastern cafe where she’d often study.

“I was the feminist, the rebel, everything you could imagine,” she said. Hatem Abu Taha proposed to her three days after they met. They were married soon after.

“The morning after we wed, my husband got up to meet his friends,” she recalled. “I was like, ‘What? We’re newlyweds.'” “He just told me he was doing guy things and I could do woman things,” she said in an interview at her home outside Boston.

Rogers worked as a nurse assistant but hoped for better. She completed a master’s degree and was preparing to write a book. Her husband rarely worked. He spoke often of his native land.

The couple had three children and were expecting a fourth when Taha said it was time they traveled to the Middle East to visit his Palestinian relatives. It was 2001. Taha’s family lived in Rafah, a city on the border with Egypt from which Palestinian militants launched Qassam rockets into Israel.


Rogers was surprised to see that Taha’s family appeared to be well off. They owned, he told her, Gaza’s only cigarette patent. She was also not ready for what happened to her husband.

Taha was ultra-patriotic, she said, and passive to the will of his family who were hostile to the American in their home. After two weeks, Rogers said her kids were “breaking down.” Her eldest son was suffering anxiety attacks. Her 2-year-old daughter had contracted dysentery.

When they arrived two weeks before, carpenters were building a third-floor addition to the family home. Taha told Rogers it was for his brother and his wife. But when the work was done, Taha told her the unit was where she would live.

Rogers was distressed and said she wanted the family to return home to the United States. “He just laughed: ‘You have no embassy here. You have no family. No one.’ I was in shock,” she said.

Her mother-in-law was the cruelest, she said, patrolling the downstairs so Rogers didn’t escape. The children were called “Yehudi”(Jews) and bullied constantly at school. Her husband told her the children were his and that she was nothing but “a vessel.” “I did not exist as a person,” she said.


There was worse to come. Rogers said Taha struck her and broke her jaw for not cleaning the refrigerator properly. And she was suspicious that her in-laws weren’t just involved in cigarette trading.

They would have lengthy conversations with members of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group whose urban warfare tactics Rogers witnessed firsthand. “The Palestinians would get inside a local school and start shooting from the windows,” she said. “And the Israelis would just fire back. Then you’d see people holding up dead Palestinian kids.”

When Rogers pleaded to move away from the perilous border with Israel, her father-in-law refused, claiming it would be an honor for them to be “martyred.” It was soon clear the family was active in terror networks. Israeli aerial attacks were common.

“We could hear the helicopter coming a mile away: tick, tick, tick, tick,” Rogers said. “Then it would drop the bomb.”

Rogers’ eldest son was injured by an Israeli tank shell. Her newborn son chewed holes in his feet because of the stress. One night, Taha and his nephew Yahya didn’t return from a trip.

“On the BBC was a report that two Palestinians from Islamic Jihad had claimed an attack and a young man and his wife were dead,” said Rogers. “My sister-in-law came up the stairs crying happily, saying that Yahya was now a martyr and in heaven. I had to get out.”

On a trip to Gaza City to meet a family friend, Rogers slipped away while the men were at afternoon prayers. In her burka, she had heard that illegal taxis brought people from Gaza to Israel and pleaded with a local store owner to call her one.

“I asked the cab driver how long it took to Erez and he said half an hour. I said, ‘If you can make it in 15 minutes, you can have every bit of gold I have.’ He got me to the border.”

Rogers said that speaking about her life in Palestine helps ease the pain. But it will be a long time until she recovers. “I try to take the positives from everything,” she said. “I meet good people and everything makes me grateful.”

“My kids are smart, funny, you’d never have guessed what they went through,” she added. “I tell them that it was a bad thing but that it was given to them for a reason. They can make their lives count.”


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  1. Another deluded feminist who thought she was strong and independent.

    Too bad women don’t have the intellectual self-discipline to learn from these experiences. This is why nothing will change so long as you Western men reading this remain passive.

    It is up to you to control and restrict this sort of dysfunction behavior in your “strong and independent” women, because if they are not deferring to your authority, then it will be the authority of some thug.

    The question is: which do you prefer?

    Learn the ropes men.


  2. Stupid women. I brefly knew a woman who wanted to marry a morreccan!!! of all things! i spent like 15 minutes trying to convine her. she was like a vegan who refused to eat meat. i don’t know what happened to her afterwards. but i hope she came to her senses/ and one more thing. WHAT KIND OF STUPID BITCH! PUTS HER KIDS IN DANGER??? Answer: a feminist. what a surprise…

  3. “She became enchanted by a soft spoken arab…………” Yet another naïve dhimmi. I have NO words of sympathy.

    In this age of information how can people be so dumb?

  4. What sort of woman marries a man after three days of dating ? Right, a rebellious feminist leftist. Who else ? This story confirms what most of us knew. Silly woman endangering her children like that. I am glad she got out, but lucky for her Israel existed !
    Without Israel or the West there will be no more escape and stupid women like her endanger us all, more like her the more Islamic we become.
    She learned a hard lesson. She should get into politics and join counter-Jihadist movement, it is the least she owes the American people and Israel.

      • It helped that three of them were born BEFORE she went to Gaza.

        At least, she had the chance to learn a real lesson – if she still after this turns out to be a leftist, then TRULY it were better for her that she had never been born… To be a leftist is as EVIL and/or STUPID as either one – or both!! – is!!!

        DEATH TO ISLAM, COMMUNISM and ALL other tyranny and totalitarianism!!!!!

    • Won’t work for many. I know a lady who has been married and eventually divorced from a muzzie but she loves Morocco. And she regularly tells me even though I dont ask or care.

  5. i cant understand why anyone would want to travel to gaza or any other muslim controlled land…. Hamas runs gaza-that should be a red flag

    also, i never understand the attraction to these men and its hard to believe that they dont see this behavior until its “too late”

    im happy she escaped and i hope others learn from her story

    • What do you mean? You think that all these children will become Moslems, especially when they fled from inhumane conditions in a Moslem country – or that the widow will convert back to Islam??? If she has ANY brains whatsoever, she’ll change her identity and ensure that neither her kids nor herself will cross paths with Moslems under ANY conditions whatsoever!!!!

      The children won’t forget likewise: they’ll pass themselves off as Mediterranean Latins (French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese) or Greeks – in that way, nobody ever needs to discover who they were or are!!!

      In any case:

      DEATH TO ISLAM, COMMUNISM and ALL other tyranny and totalitarianism!!!!!

    • “Dreams of My Father”. “My Sharia Roots” and “Look Who I’m Standing With Dad!”
      A rose by any other name is a rose.

  6. Some wonder Why Western Women fall for Arab Muslim Men? many of them should read the story of Phyllis Chesler. No matter how charming, how convincing, don’t matter if he eats pork with your and your family, no matter how much he tells you he’s not religious, or how much he loves you NEVER NEVER AND I MEAN NEVER EVER FALL FOR A MUSLIM MAN!!!!!!!! Always remember this: A snake can shed its skin a million times but it still is a snake.

  7. God bless and keep this woman and her children! I sincerely hope she joins a battalion of babes who write and do speaking engagements around the U.S, informing people, and especially women to never ever trust, and especially NEVER marry a muslime POS, no matter how “charming” he may appear to be!!….People need to know that this is the Religion of Piss….and THAT is being too charitable in describing a demonic Death Cult and POLITICAL ideology called islam!!

    • Although it might sound self-righteous, I likewise have difficulty working up much sympathy for drug addicts and alcoholics. Their misery was self inflicted.

  8. This is a very old story. When I lived in the south of France in the seventies there were no shortage of stories of the young women who were groomed into marriage by the youth. Taken offshore and separated from their kufar relatives and friends to formerly Christian and Jewish lands. Out there in the dark they never lasted the abuse for too long. What we were being told as foreigners was to “beware of the savages”. So if we in the non mohammadan – muslim world refuse to get it for too much longer it will surely get us.

    • My grandpa is like over 90 years old and he always told me that even his parents,and their parents always warned about muslims, that they are a bunch of dangerous and crazy people.

  9. What a powerful story. Thank you so much Boni for posting it.
    Has Ms. Rogers written a book about her experience or, is she in the process of writing one? I would love to read about her entire experience. Just the small portion I read hear was riveting.

  10. Is this the sort of misogynistic culture that the LEFTARDS are fighting for? One that treats women like slaves, gays like rats to be hunted and exterminated, ‘others’ as dirt, Jews like escaped prisoners who should be returned to the death camps! EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!

    The fact that the Pallies get any support is due to the DISHONESTY of the Leftards who are trying to destroy our civilization and will support any evil cause to fight our Western ideals.

    The Leftards are the unthoughtful bootlickers of some of the worst fascist thugs and misogynists in the world.

    This woman would do a great service by writing a book and telling the truth about Mozmen and the way women are repressed in Moz culture.

  11. Sorry, but this women is a stupid bitch. Marry him after 3 days? He was using her as a breeding machine. No sympathy. Feel sorry for the kids.

  12. She must have been warned against such a move, I’ve no sympathy for her at all having put her kids in potential danger…..Ladies BE WARNED.

  13. Pity that recent presidents have not channeled Teddy Roosevelt. Faced with the kidnapping of an American businessman for ransom by a Moroccan thug, he gave a Marine detachment a simple Op Order. The businessman alive or the thugs head for his trophy room.

  14. I feel for this poor woman but for crying out loud was she not able to see hear or read prior to marrying this piece of Islamic Crap?
    What DID she think life would be like marrying one of these swine?