For some reasons, I really interested by the life of women in Arabic culture maybe by the fact that I have a lot of Arabic friends, so it is interesting to discuss and exchange about our culture. I am fascinated by discovering and understanding new culture, it is a nice way to discover the world and all of its secrets. The first book that I read was “Burned Alive : a victim of the law of men” by Souad. For some of you that know this book, it is a really old one (published in 2003) but was one of the first published book regards the condition of Arabic women, and made it famous in France. Through the resume, I was intrigued by Souad’ story.
It is the story of a 17 years old girl whom lived in a small town in Pakistan in a machismo and patriarchal world. Souad told us through these hundreds pages her misery to be a woman but particularly how the dishonor that she put on her family pushed them to kill her. She is born in a very conservator and traditional family, where the women are a drag and they are waiting than someone will ask their hand. She was seduced by a local man with his promises of getting married, Souad is horrified to learn that she is pregnant. Even if she done everything to hide it, after 7 months it was not anymore possible. Doors closed, guests are no more invited to preserve the “rest” of honor that the family had. For her family, they had to “bring back” the honor and for that they decided to kill their own daughter. What we call : “crimes of honor”. She was 7 months pregnant, sitting on the floor doing the cleaning of family’ s clothes, and was burned by her brother law. I felt her pain, her sadness through the sentences and made me cried. For few second you imagined yourself on the floor, imagined your mom stayed inside and looked at you burning ! We said that “the love of a mom doesn’t have any price”… For Souad’ mom yes. She came to the hospital to finish the “work” and had tried to kill Souad without success. The rest of the book is the combat of Saouad to stay alive, the birth of her son and her new life in Europe.
You heard the stories of women who were killed on the TV or radio, but this time I lived this moment with her, I had understood her questions, her thoughts and so on. The book was well written. I like the thing that I read something personal, real life, not a fiction book. Reading this story make me take conscious about the injustice that exist through the world : life’s conditions, uneducated, the wild mentality of men. ONU has recessed 5,000 horrors killing per year in the world for different reasons, Souad is not one case like that but maybe girls can be a victim just because they want to take control of their life. I know that some journalists doubt about the certainty of Souad story but when we know that the girl write this 25 years after the events, it can be understandable that they are some incoherence. I don’t think that any comments from journalist can change the message that this book has sent.
I just recommend you to read it and to make your own opinion.