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Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 4, 2003

2.7 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The timeless tragedy of Shakespeare's star-cross'd lovers is reflected in our modern era in this directly narrated but deeply affecting story of a Catholic man and a Muslim woman secretly in love in contemporary Jordan. Even in this relatively modern Islamic state, not only is it impossible for them to overcome ancient prejudices, but if they were known to have been together, however innocently, their lives, particularly that of the woman, could be forfeit. Khouri, a poet and short fiction writer (and Catholic) who now lives in exile because of the events she relates here, opened a unisex beauty salon in Amman with her dearest friend, Dalia, hoping to achieve some measure of freedom in a stultifying society in which women are wholly without rights and, once married, completely subservient to their husbands. Michael, an attractive young Catholic man, comes to the salon to have his hair cut by Dalia so often that she jokes he will soon be trimmed bald, until she realizes he is shyly interested in her-but she is Muslim. The two dare to love and plan to escape abroad. However, Dalia's younger brother suspects her of "dishonoring" the family by loving an outsider, and the ancient code of honor, as violently in effect today as ever, immediately demands the taking of her life to remove the stain. The importance of what Khouri has to say overcomes her guileless prose, and she does not hesitate to insert a lengthy chapter of Islamic history, especially condemning what she, as a Christian, perceives as the religion's rigidly determined, denigrating attitudes to women. While the book is not a polemic, its message, particularly resonant in today's world, in which Islam has become a major player, conveys some knowledge of that world and its thinking in general, but in regard to the rights of women, it holds an especially significant appeal.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Two young women in Jordan defy their families to open a hair salon, but when one of them falls for a Catholic man who enters the salon, she is ultimately killed by her father. The author was forced to leave the country after writing this work secretly in an Internet cafe.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown (February 4, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0743448782
  • ASIN: B0002ST9DY
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,463,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I�d like to share with your readers some of my findings about this book, if I may. Thank you.
The author claims in her book (a claim repeated in her review of Queen Noor�s book �Leap of Faith�) that many Jordanian women are in jail for their own protection as they fear that they might be killed by their families. As an Australian of Jordanian descent, I know for a fact that it is indeed true and I believe that it shouldn�t happen as it is plain injustice that we should all fight.
But, by writing so in her book, the author shot unknowingly herself in the foot because, if she was REALLY threatened with death by her OWN family for 5 years, why didn�t she seek the jail�s protection against her family�s �death threat� like the other women? Quite the opposite, she spent the last FIVE YEARS of her life in Jordan AT HOME not in jail �in fear of her family�!
This is yet another undeniable proof that there was NO death threat made against her by her family. In fact, as two reviewers already noticed, her family belongs to a social upper class that does not believe in honour killing. Somehow, she �forgot� to mention this fact in her book. One wonders why!
If her family REALLY threatened her with death, she would have headed towards the nearest prison asking for protection, the VERY SAME day the threat was made. Something she didn�t do for FIVE WHOLE YEARS, by deciding to stay at home. So much for that �death threat�! Also a death threat that remains active for 5 years is just laughable.
I am therefore sad to say that this book is a pack of lies, written for a gullible and perhaps prejudiced western readership. This �death threat� claim and episode is just another illustrative example of the tendency of this book to be caught increasingly in the web of its own lies.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a summary about this book in Australian's Women Weekly Mag and felt great deal of sympathy towards the author and her friend, so I went online and bought the book instantly.
21 pages is the maximum I could go with this book, I could not take the lies in it anymore. As a matter of fact, I believe it should enter the Guiness books of records as "the publication with the largest number of lies ever"!. Norma, maybe this will get you more fame, which is obviously the only reason why you wrote this book.
With all due respect to the people who liked this book, I think you should travel to Jordan before deciding that it was a good book and from the first sight, you will understand that it is all lies.
Being half Jordanian myself, I never saw anything that the author describes in Jordan at this age and time, is it the same Jordan we are talking about?
My suggestion to those reading this review, dont waste your money on a book like this, it is not real and not fun to read at all. The summary written above is all what the book is about.
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Format: Hardcover
Norma Khouri writes that she and Dalia ran a unisex hairdresser's salon in Jabal Hussein, here in Amman.
Although the style of the book can be enticing sometimes, one fact remains undeniable and obvious to me, as someone born and bred in Jabal Hussein: There was/is no unisex salon in our locality.
Norma Khouri and Dalia most probably ran a women's salon; which is more likely and believable in our prevailing culture where men and women do not mix as freely as in the west. Indeed, with Muslim women wearing the hijab (Islamic scarf), a unisex salon is not only a social anathema but also a recipe for business disaster. So, I have found it mystifying, to say the least, to read the author say that their `unisex' salon's business was flourishing. In any case, had it existed, we would have known about it, as it allegedly became a success during five whole years. Such a salon cannot be missed over such a long period.
The reason why Norma Khouri bestowed the `unisex' character upon her women only salon seems to justify the introduction of Michael to set off the `love story' saga. Whether Michael is a real person or imaginary, the jury is still out.
The fact that Norma Khouri was so `imaginative' about the setting of this book, for a start, suggests that the whole book `love story' cannot be trusted as facts can be interchanged with fiction at will. As a reviewer put it, Dalia could have died of natural causes that have nothing to do with honour killing.
Honour killing is a serious matter of life and death that we ought to address objectively and truthfully, with no allowance for fiction or self-declared `revenge', to fight till eradication the mentality that breeds such willingness to kill innocent lives.
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Format: Hardcover
As an immigration officer who has travelled and lived through the middle-east, I have found this book content doubtful, to say the least. The style deliberately constructed to manipulate the emotions of her readers has made me even more suspicious of the author's motives.
In my line of work, I have dealt with claims, as dramatic as the authors', that are made by people eager to enter the west by any means. The author's assertions have simply not been backed up by any material evidence. This is a `love' story with not a single proof! The contrast between this book and Queen Noor's which describes her love story with King Hussein is amazing. In that book, the documented evidence of their love is for all to see-even letters and photos were included!
The author writes that Dalia's death is genuine and her `love' story is true. However, a close inspection shows unbelievable contradictions documented by your reviewers. I may not be Jordanian or a Muslim but, because I have lived for a while in Jordan and the middle-east, I have noticed that the author has been truly careless about her description of her country of origin and Islam. It is as if the author's bottom line, when writing this book, was: `western readers know nothing about Jordan and Islam, so they WILL believe anything they are told anyway'.
For example, the author claim's that photography is forbidden in Islam is blatantly false. As an amateur photographer, I am fascinated by the beauty of Jordan and have attended IN AMMAN photographic exhibitions about the red city of Petra. Also, since she claims to be a close friend to a Muslim lady called Dalia, has the author never seen -in Dalia's home- an Islamic calendar with photos of, say, mosques around the world? I have got one at home!
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