Photo and Article: Courtesy TIME
"Nurta Mohamed Sheikh Maalim is still shocked that she's alive. Maalim remembers very little of how she washed up on Yemen's shores last month, but she does remember swimming for 30 minutes, exhausted and confused, through the shark-infested waters of the Arabian Sea after being dumped overboard by her Somali smugglers. Eight months pregnant at the time, alone and desperate for something better, Maalim says she risked her life to reach Yemen several months after her husband fled Somalia using the same route. Now squatting in the home of a Somali community leader in Bassatine — an African slum outside Yemen's southern port of Aden — she says her husband is probably dead, probably never having made it to shore. She was nearing the end of her pregnancy when a Somali community leader took her in off the street a few weeks ago and she delivered the baby in a local clinic. She has eight other children who remain in Somalia with her mother. And as for what comes next: neither Maalim nor anyone around her can guess."
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