Burned Alive: a Victim of the Law of Men

Topics: Honor killing, Family, Marriage Pages: 3 (1146 words) Published: April 2, 2012
Burned Alive is the devastating story of a young Arabic girl named Souad living in a small West Bank village that is run by the law of men, where women are practically worthless. Women here are beaten almost daily, and are used mostly for labor purposes, but most importantly, to produce sons. Not only do women go through horrible abuse and mistreatment, but they also live with the risk if being killed for committing even the smallest sin which brings embarrassment to the family. In order to restore the family’s honor, they get a man, normally the girls’ brother, to perform a torturous honor killing Souad begins noticing a man that lives nearby, named Faiez. After gaining his attention, they use signals to communicate from afar, since a girl must be married before she can speak or even raise her eyes to a man besides her father or brother. They eventually start meeting in private every day, they begin discussing marriage, even though Souad knows it is unrealistic at the time, since her older sister must marry before she can. Soon, Faiez starts to question Souads loyalty to him, and wants her prove her loyalty by letting him have her virginity. As badly as Souad does not want to do this, she knows that he will leave if she does not, so she lets him do what he wants. It’s not too long until Souad realizes that she is pregnant, and when she goes to tell Faiez, he has left the village, and will not return. Soon after, her stomach starts to grow, and her secret is out. The family decides that Hussein, Souads brother-in-law, will perform the honor killing. Hussein attempts this by pouring gasoline on Souads head while washing clothes in a pot above a fire. Souad runs screaming out of the garden and into the street where two women began beating her with scarves trying to put the fire out. The next thing she knew, she awoke in a hospital. Shortly after this, while still in the hospital, her mother tried to poison her with a drink. Luckily, a nurse came in just in time,...
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