Guests of the Sheik

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My dear friend do you not see how we as women are raised and taught to uphold our reputation and our traditions in our villages and in our families. We know from a very young age what our duties and responsibilities are as women and it is the women who are responsible for caring for their husbands, children and the elderly. We as women are destine to marry only if there is a male within the same family available, such as a first cousin, as we would never bear children from other families that are not known to us. It shocks me that you and your husband dated (courted) prior to the marriage being consummated. Dating is a term I am unfamiliar with but you say you have dated with other men and that you did this several times before you met and married your husband. This would not be tolerated in my village and in fact it may be a cause for one’s life to be taken, as it would be so shameful for our families’ reputation to have a daughter out with other men from other families. Men, in our village can have several wives but primarily it is only seen in wealthy families like the Sheik’s harem. There was a time when my little sister went with the school principal’s brother and his friend, none of whom my father knew, for a ride in the country without the permission of our father. Had my father found out that it was indeed my little sister (many people told lies to protect her from punishment) out joy riding with strange men then my sister would not just be punished but my father would be expected to end her life for she would have disgraced our families name (pg. 257). The type of value that we place on our family reputation is tremendous and it is easier to follow the rules then to break them as you do not get in trouble then. The behaviors you speak of would cause you death by your father if you were born and raised in El Nahra. In our village it is only a very few women who will ever leave the family for the City to obtain a higher education but it is rare. If...
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