From The Telegraph, with thanks to Filtrat, a harrowing first-person account of an attempted honor killing:
As a teenager in the West Bank, Soauad became pregnant by a local boy. He ‘shamed’ Palestinian family condemned her to death and she was set on fire by her brother-in-law. Every year, thousands of women in the Middle East die in ‘honour killings’. Souad survived. This is her harrowing story
He came towards me and said, with a smile: “Hi. How goes it?” He was chewing a blade of grass. “I’m going to take care of you.”
I hadn’t been expecting that. I smiled a little, to thank him, not daring to speak.
Suddenly I felt a cold liquid running over my head; I was on fire. I slapped at my hair. I screamed. My dress billowed out behind me. Was it on fire, too? I smelt the petrol and ran, the hem of my dress getting in the way. Did he run after me? Was he waiting for me to fall so he could watch me go up in flames?
I’m going to die, I thought. That’s good. Maybe I’m already dead. It’s over, finally.
My name is Souad. My story began almost 25 years ago in my native village in the West Bank, a tiny place, in a region then occupied by the Israelis. If I named my village, I could be in danger, even though I am now thousands of miles away. In my village I am officially dead; if I were to go back today they would try to kill me a second time for the honour of my family. It’s the law of the land. It’s because I am a woman.
A woman 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 catches her eye, the whole village labels her a charmuta, prostitute. 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 jewellery. My mother was married at 14. 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 eldest daughter first, then the others.
Read the whole thing.