Required Reading

Here’s the start of Souad’s story:

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.


The National Organization for Women probably could be reached for comment, but we already know they don’t give a goddamn about Souad, or any other Islamic women living under the threat of honor killings.


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