When she was 18, her brother-in-law poured gasoline on her and set her aflame. She was meant to die because she was pregnant and unmarried, bringing disgrace to her parents. But she survived, and now, 25 years later, "Souad" bears witness to the horror of "honor crimes" that kill thousands of women every year in many countries across the world. She begins with a bitter account of what it was like to grow up female in a remote Palestinian village in the Occupied Territory. "Being born a girl was a curse." Unlike her brother, she never went to school. Her father beat her daily. She worked as a shepherd, a "consenting slave." She barely glimpsed the city, where women were free to work and move around. Her rescuer was Jacqueline, a European aid worker, who was in the Middle East to care for children in distress and who arranged for the badly burned young woman to be flown to Switzerland, where she and her newborn baby received medical care and support. Today Souad is "somewhere in Europe," married with three children, her testimony still anonymous for her protection. Occasional chapters by Jacqueline fill in the wider context, but it's the immediacy of the shocking first-person narrative that drives home the statistics. Like Mende Nazer's Slave
[BKL D 1 03], this book is a call to action. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Souad lives with her husband, and must still keep her identity and location secret from her family