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An overseas sex-change operation has done little to help Amal's struggle for official recognition as a woman in conservative Kuwait.
One court ruled for her, another overturned it and now she is going to the Court of Cassation, her last avenue of appeal."People see me as a comic case," said Amal.
She refused to be identified by her surname or to be photographed, saying her life was in danger. At 14, she swallowed all the pills in her family's medicine cabinet.
Another time she ended up in intensive care and her family didn't visit her, she said. On her own, now calling herself Amal, she found a secretarial job at the Ministry of Education.
The sex-change operation was carried out in Thailand about three years ago and after returning to Kuwait, Amal was subjected to forensic examination, which “showed I was a complete female”.
After the court verdict in April, the government filed an appeal supported by a group of Islamist lawyers and Amal’s father, who told the court the verdict brought “shame to his family”.“We respect our judiciary ...
Classmates noticed, and a neighbor sent his mother to ask for her hand in marriage.
We believe our case is fair and is backed by religious and legal interpretations of the law,” Yahya said.
Amal made extra money by designing women's and children clothes and selling paintings and home decorations.
In 2001, aged 26, she had enough saved for an operation in Thailand.
"I wish they could look at me as a human being, someone who was born with a disease."Many Middle East countries refuse to recognize sex changes.
Jordan, Lebanon and Syria do, but it takes complicated and lengthy court proceedings.