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This article was originally published in The Washington Post on June 11, 1998. You can access the original article here: www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1998/06/11/a-new-life-and-new-hope/58909b1b-cfb4-4ab1-82d9-8e396a8940e5/.

She wisecracks like a sassy college kid and teases her lawyer like an older sister. She delivers speeches without notes and tosses off legal phrases without hesitation.

So transformed is Fauziya Kassindja, in fact, that it is hard to recognize her as the downcast, barely audible young African woman who suffered through Washington news conferences organized by human rights groups two years ago.

It is even more difficult to imagine this poised, 21-year-old Alexandria resident as a trapped teenager in Togo, West Africa, terrified of being mutilated in a tribal ritual, or as a trembling prisoner in New Jersey who wept while being forced to strip naked. Read the full story.