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Burned Alive: A Survivor of an "Honor Killing" Speaks Out Paperback – May 13, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, it seems as if people just do not want to face the truth about a culture that minimizes or degrades the role of women in society. Souad's story is NOT the exception to the rule. Honor killings happen more often than we know. The problem I think the reviewers are having is that Souad lived and is drawing attention to a problem that exists, usually silencing the victims. Here's a case where the victim wasn't silenced afterall.
From day ONE, boys are welcomed and girls are not. Furthermore, men can have up to four wives. They do not consult their first wife and ask her if they will accept wife number 2,3, or 4! One can argue that it's a cultural preference and he or she would be correct that it's a cultural preference for the men. From what I've read, it's usually not the preference for the women involved although, admittedly, many do not question their fate. Practicing monogomy increases the woman's value in our society. Although Souad's father did NOT have other wives, the value system those in these countries have specifically devalue women. The Taliban in Afghanistan was borne from orthodoxy in Islam. Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia is also extreme.
The author's retelling of her story was moving. She freely admits that some memories are unclear. She's tormented about the fact that she cannot remember her sister's name. She recounts her life, however, with extreme honesty. She's emotional, yet removed. I am happy that this woman is living happily presently and has reunited with her son, noting that she still has to deal with her literal and figurative scars of her former life.
This might not be a usual story, but it is indeed representative of this repressive and misogynistic culture.
It is because of the stories that I have read that have caused me to join hw.org - Human Rights Watch - Defending Human Rights Worldwide. The barbaric torture of women, the honor killings, the rape, stoning, burning alive will come to an end. Your story along with a few others was the major catalyst in my decision for helping to bring this to an end in any way I can.
Reading about what this girl endured was chilling. It is a book like this that causes humanity to take a stand for humanity. Souad is a hero. She speaks out. Because of her words and courage she is a catalyst for humanitarian change, especially for women and children around the world.
This is a book that I feel should be required reading in every school, in every land, until this torture comes to an end.
Read this book! This is a story where you might ask "why" something like this could happen. Maybe the reason is so we see to it that it never happens again.
Souad describes thoughtfully how she was treated worse than an animal while she lived as a slave; owned by her father in a primitive West Bank Village. On a daily basis Souad was the victim of beatings and horrible abuse. Why is that?
Because like virtually all third-world/Islamic States, women are property; not human-beings. Souad is nothing if not honest and brave as she describes in detail how it is a sin simply to be born female. She even describes how her mother murdered her own newborn baby daughters because of their gender!
Souad was forbidden to ever speak to a man and could only go outside to work her long daily chores. When she was still a teenager one of her neighbors raped her repeatedly. She was young and vulnerable and this pig told her that he "loved" her and would "marry" her. But after Souad became pregnant this rapist abandoned her!
Poor Souad goes into detail about how she tried to hide her pregnancy because she knew that it would surely mean her execution. When her family was finally aware of her pregnancy (more than 6 months later), they had her brother-in-law douse her with gasoline and set her on fire. Soaud bravely describes how this felt and how she was treated.
This story is very sad, shocking, tragic but also hopeful. There are millions and millions of women who have been victims of these horrible honor murders. Souad is unique because she is a survivor. She survived her attempted murder. Her family left her for dead, but she survived. And she was able to start a new life!
My hope is that this book will be passed around in the Islamic third-world villages where women are treated worse than garbage.Read more ›
And for what crimes? Raising their eyes from their feet while on the street? Talking to a boy they are not related to? When Souad makes it clear to the boy next door that she wants to meet him and talk to him, we want to shout, "Don't! Don't!"
A simple book, an easy read -- but not a book you read and forget. Many lessons to be learned. Many, many lessons.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
She is a 've r y brave woman. I first heard of honor killings when it happened here in America. I already knew about forced slavery and children being sold but this was beyond my... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Terry Ellington
i love autobiographies and especially of people who triumph over difficult situations. this was a very good read and knowing it is true, made it even more meaning...Published 3 months ago by Jill Matthis
Honor killings are widespread problems all around the world. However this issue does not receive the attention it deserves for many reasons. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Despair
Just another testament to the injustice women experience under muslim domination. God help her and the many women suffering in the middle east. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gerri Lear
In America we have a hard time realizing how people and they're beliefs result in such tragedy and horror especially for women. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nancy
I couldn't put it down! The author's heart and feelings fill the pages with raw emotion. This is a must read for men, women and teens.Published 10 months ago by David Greenfield