Burned Alive: A Victim of the Law of Men
31 journalers for this copy...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Here's the description from Publisher's Weekly:
The first true account ever published by a victim of an "honor crime," this shocking, moving, and harrowing tale has already become an international sensation.
Souad was a 17-year-old girl living in a small village in Jordan when she had the misfortune of falling in love -- an emotion that would lead to an unspeakable act of violence and a lifetime of exile from her homeland.
With a childhood marked by hard labor and physical abuse at the hands of her father, who is humiliated by the birth of many daughters and only one son, Souad is desperate to leave home. Enticed into a relationship with a handsome neighbor, her short-lived romance leaves her pregnant. Forbidden to marry until her older sisters find husbands and having brought shame to her family, Souad faces the only acceptable punishment: death.
How her family plots to kill her, her harrowing struggle to survive burns over 90% of her body after her brother-in-law douses her with gasoline and sets her on fire, her dramatic escape from Jordan, and her resolve to build a new life for herself is a tale of heartbreaking drama and remarkable courage.
Okay, here's the list of participants in order:
Emb - Michigan
Breeni - North Carolina
MarciNYC - New Jersey
Noumena12 - Ohio
TJROTH - Washington
Apolonia - Massachusetts
CdnBlueRose - Texas
Rebemdee - California Skipped at her request
YowlYY - England, UK**
**YowlYY, this is being changed from a ring to a ray so please feel free to RABCK, wild release, or whatever else you would like to do to keep this moving when you are done reading it. Thank you.
Please journal the book as soon as you receive it so I know it has arrived safely.
Please read the book, if at all possible, within a maximum of 2-4 weeks. Please be considerate of the others in this ring. If you are not able to read the book within or close to the prescribed time, ask that it be sent on to the next person and then PM me to let me know.
If requested, I will add you to the end of the list so that you will still have an opportunity to read it later.
After you read the book, please journal again with your comments, and PM the next person in line to get their address.
Also, please PM me to let me know the book is on its way so that I can update it's status here and in my profile. A link to the book will be on my profile page and I will be monitoring it's status and updating it.
Thank you to everyone who joined. If you have any questions, please PM me. I always answer my PMs within a day so if you don't hear back, please try again in case the PM didn't go through.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Mailing to MarciNYC. Enjoy! Thanks, Pyan, for the opportunity to read this!
I don't really know how to respond to the book. I guess that I can't even fathom being treated so poorly that the livestock is treated better. I truly hope that the people (if one can call them that) that have inflicted these atrocities on others do at some point in their lives pay for what they have done. The book was well worth reading...Thanks Pyan for putting it out as a ring. I now need to get it off to the next in line.
I grabbed this last night to get it started and ended up staying up until 3am. I just finished it, I couldn't put it down. It is such a sad heart breaking story. I agree completely with JadaAn's comments. I have read a couple of books about life in the Middle East and the more I learn, the more horrified I am and the more greatful I am to live here in the United States.
I was happy to see that even though she was scared for life both literally and emotionally that Souad has been able to build a life for herself. I also applaud her courage for bringing this issue to the attention of so many who are unaware that these types of practices occur.
When I read something like this the thought that keeps repeating in my head is why don't these women stand up togther and refuse to accecpt things the way they are? I know there are many who give up everything including there lives for the cause to change things, but how can so many just accecpt things the way they are?
How can a wife and mother who was beaten by her husband turn around and let her son be raised they same way to do the same thing to his wife?
Finally was unable to comprehend how a mother could smother her own baby to death, then I thought about it and wondered if they mother did that simply because she had a daughter that she didn't want , or maybe to spare her from the awful life she knew awaited her?
Thanks for sharing this book Pyan, I think it should be read by as many people as possible. I will send it to Rosie today.
*Sending hugs your way*
This book is now the 6th in the TBR pile of rings and rays that reached me in the last week, so it will take a while for me to read it, however, I have already a plan on how to extend the ray in Europe and possibly worldwide. More in my next JE, hopefully to be appearing here in November.
Happy Halloween to all! Camilla Eriksson/MillanNet
Picture © Mike Briner
So, I read this book in two days, mainly because it's very brief, but also because of the style: I understand now why it is so unsophisticated, as it must have been written after a tape recording - Souad is a simple woman who never had the luxury of a school education, and she speaks to us in simple sentences just like she has been doing all her life.
Hers is a shocking tale: I've heard of the crime of honour before, especially tied up with Pakistan, when "kitchen accidents" seem to be common place and young women are killed or badly hurt because of a communal custom in patriarchal societies. But is it something related to the Islam at all? When looking up the website of SURGIR, the organisation that made possible for Souad to leave the West Bank and come to Europe to be cured and start a new existence, it is made clear that this behaviour towards women is not part of the Muslim culture at all, and is not characteristic of a certain religion, since it is practiced by people of different confessions. Going a bit back in time, even in my own country, a century ago, women who did not obey the law of men were endangered, and if not subject to such a horrible destiny, they would certainly have lived as outcasts in the community, or often forced to leave the village. My island has a tradition of matriarchate, thank God, but the influence of the Church, which always will put the man before the woman, had an impact in the life of the communities.
When people ask how is it possible that these women do not object to the way they're treated, the answer that Souad gives is very plausible: how do you object to what is been the only existence they know? We tend to forget that countries and societies develop at a different pace, and in close societies there will always be suspicion for what is new and different - be the way people speak, dress, eat, behave, hence the tendency to marry someone from the same village, the same tribe. Women are also a part of this ancient way of living, and it will take a lot of education brought to the people to have them move on from this barbaric practice.
Now...the ray ends with me, but I would like it to travel more around the world, so I shall gather now more names of interested readers, and the book will be back on the road soon. Thanks to Pyan for sharing, and for all your comments.
Photo taken in the West Bank courtesy of farfuglinn
Eilan86 (Italy) asked to be skipped
lundi (Netherlands, ships anywhere)
Bulan-Purnama (has already a copy of the book, asked to be skipped)
mrsordonez< (Missouri, USA)
Joanthro (Colorado, USA)
sleepymom (Colorado, USA)
ladyveg (Wisconsin, USA)
MysteryMish (California, USA - asked to be skipped)
Karenlea (California, USA)
wyldewomin (does not reply to PMs)
Once arrived in Australia, michyj will take care of further trips that the book will be making within Australia, and maybe to move then to another continent? Happy travelling little book!
It is a rallying call to all people in civilised society to help agencies such as SURGIR to stop the barbaric practice of "honour" killing.
Unfortunately the abuse of women doesn't only take place amongst Muslims or the uneducated and this is another area that society as whole needs to look at ..the protection of women and children in abusive relationships.
This book certainly made me stop and think about how much I take for granted.
I have now contacted sterile and this will be off to her as soon as I get a reply with her address.
Waiting for Dododumpling's address to move the ring on to the next member, thankyou for giving me the chance to read a first-hand account of this abhorrant attitude that still prevails in the world. Down to men not religion.
2nd Attempt at Dododumplings address Sunday 12th March.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I have the address of Dododumpling and will despatch the book tomorrow (Wednesday 15th).
Sent off to Angellica on 4 April (second class post).
I can't even imagine what Souad must have gone through. Her courage was unbelievable.
I am lost for words really. I really hope that she's found a satisfactory way of coping with what life has thrown at her.
Thanks for sharing. I have posted it to TexasAngel today.
I have pm the next person on the list and will post the book as soon as I have the address.
This story is incredible and it really should be read by everybody. I'd heard many weird things before about some extremist Muslim societies and their attitude to women, but nothing ever said it as clear as this book. It is just really inbelievable what happened to Souad, and what seems to be quite a normal thing in their culture. For us here in the West, it is just unthinkable to be a slave in every sense of he word to your father first and then to your husband, continuously afraid of beatings and beratings and of somebody denouncing you which could lead to your death without even any proof of its truth. Somehow I find it difficult to call that a "culture" a all...
Well what a book - it just makes you thankful for what we have, but fustrated at the same time that this sort of thing still goes on and is considered normal in some societies.
Eilan86 has asked to be skipped in this ray so have sent this onto lundi yesterday.
What an incredibly intense history. Ten pages into the book I turned into a women's rights activist ---but must admit that I haven't put my indignation to any practical use. Everyone should read it. But please! don't feed your fear so that it turns into hate.
Like many readers, I was very disturbed by this book, although not completely shocked because I was born in Kuwait and my mother had related some of the Middle Eastern cultural norms to me. Frankly, and this is just my opinion, I was more disappointed in some of the judgments and assumptions made by previous readers.
(1)Although there are not (to our knowledge) honor killings in the United States, there are uncountable numbers of women who are daily victims of emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse by their partners, just like that experienced by the women in this book. IN addition, untold numbers of women are regularly murdered by their partners, with little or no justice. The only difference that I can see is in the Middle East, the "shame" for women's behavior is placed on the family, where as in the United States, it's placed on the women themselves.
(2) Although there is a superficial religious tolerance in the United States, it varies widely depending on what region you live in, and whether you live in an urban or rural environment. My experience is that almost everyone assumes you are Christian unless you state otherwise, and at least in the South and Midwest, many people don't even realize that other religions exist. We may have "freedom of religion" in our consitution, but I find it's not really there. I define myself as pagan, specifically wiccan, yet have to be very guarded about that in order to keep from being discriminated against and also to stay safe from physical harm.
Anyway, now that I'm off my soapbox, I do find Souad's ongoing ordeal to be horrifying, and am amazed at the strength she found to survive. I also admire the patience, risks, and restraint that Jacqueline and the doctor took in negotiating Souad and her son's exit from the country.
I'll send this to Bulan-Purnama as soon as I get her address.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
More interesting for me has been the debate about whether or not the story is true. Several reviewers have stated that this book was a hoax. (I think it is easy to level this charge when one arrives at the end of the book and there is a bank routing number for donations: a more seeemly approach would have been to list all the agencies and NGOs that are working to end this practice throughout the world.) Now that I have read the book, I think this debate distracts us from the very real message of the book, namely that women all over the world continue to be victims of violence. It is irrelavant if there really is a woman who had this exact experience or not; the main point is to raise awareness of the ongoing violence against women whether it is justified as an "honor killing" or rationalized as "domestic abuse".
Thanks YowlYY for continuing this bookray!
Mailed to sleepymom yesterday.
About the book itself, I cannot imagine the pain she has had to endure and the strength and courage to get to where she is today. I applaud her for speaking out about this taboo subject. Good for her.
I wil be sending this book off to the next person on Monday.
I will mail out the book, as soon as I hear back from the next participant. I will also post here, when I mail it out.
Update- Mailed on 4/21/08.
MAILED MAY 22 TO GABBYSMUM
I have now finished it,took all my effort not to read it all in one day!
Like others have said what can I say about this book,it was horrific.Still is as these honor crimes are still are going on and women everywhere are being murdered in the name of honor.I cannot even imagine living in fear like they do,if you can call it living!
Iam so happy that Souad has a good life now and surrounded by people who love her.Antonio must be a most patient and loving man,which is just what she needed and deserved.
Iam hopeless at remembering things but I have finally posted this to the next person on the ring,so sorry it took so long
Thank you for this bookray, it isn't a book I would normally have chosen to read but I am so glad I did.
Awaiting the next person's address to send on.
ADDIT 22/09/08: Posting to kidwrangler today.
Apologies for the delay. This book was read quickly but then lost amongst the mayhem of toddler and new baby LOL. Will pm Livrecache and pass along.
Apologies for the slow release of this bookring. Posting to Livrecache.
It'll take me a while to read all the entries. Perhaps I should read the book first.
Many thanks to all who made it possible for the book to make its journey to me (particularly kidwrangler, who sent it to me). I look forward to reading this and sending it off into the wide world again.
I don't have much to add to what others have said. It's horrifying that people (women) can be treated like this. I applaud Souad's efforts to make us try to understand the ways of the village of her birth. Understand is perhaps not the right word. For her, her family, her village, it's just the way life is. The fact that Souad managed to escape against all odds, and attains another way of life is truly wonderful. And, that, as well as finding happiness, she still shows the world her physical and emotional scars makes this a very powerful book.
I may offer this as a bookring (again) or put it in the OZ VBB. Thanks to all who brought this book to me.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Claimed from the Oz VBB