As you know, I have been trying this new thing for me where I tell you about a book I loved and share a free ebook link to that book if possible.
What I picked this novel?
This book inspired yesterday’s poem, and yes, even if I read it weeks ago, I still think about it. It might be with how graphic it is, and it is listed as a memoir on Goodreads, and it reads so to my eyes. However, after reading some reviews, people said it was fiction. Fiction or not, I know that girls worldwide have to endure some unthinkable things.
I am a girl. A girl must walk fast, head down, as if counting the number of steps she’s taking. She may never stray from her path or look up, for if a man were to catch her eye, the whole village would label her a charmuta. If a married neighbor woman, or an old woman, or just anybody were to see her out without her mother or her older sister, without her sheep, her bundle of hay, or her load of figs, they would right away say charmuta. A girl must be married before she can raise her eyes and look straight ahead, or go into a shop, or pluck her eyebrows and wear jewelry. My mother was married at fourteen. If a girl is still unmarried by that age, the village begins to make fun of her. But a girl must wait her turn in the family to be married. The oldest daughter first, then the others.
When Souad was seventeen she fell in love. In her village, as in so many others, sex before marriage was considered a grave dishonour to one’s family and was punishable by death. This was her crime. Her brother-in-law was given the task of arranging her punishment. One morning while Souad was washing the family’s clothes, he crept up on her, poured petrol over her and set her alight.
In the eyes of their community he was a hero. An execution for a ‘crime of honour’ was a respectable duty unlikely to bring about condemnation from others. It certainly would not have provoked calls for his prosecution. More than five thousand cases of such honour killings are reported around the world each year and many more take place that we hear nothing about.
Miraculously, Souad survived rescued by the women of her village, who put out the flames and took her to a local hospital. Horrifically burned, and abandoned by her family and community, it was only the intervention of a European aid worker that enabled Souad to receive the care and sanctuary she so desperately needed and to start her life again. She has now decided to tell her story and uncover the barbarity of honour killings, a practice which continues to this day.
Goodreads Link Here
Download Link Here