Burned Alive by Souad

Burned Alive by Souad
When Souad was seventeen she fell in love. In her village, as in so many
others, sex before marriage was considered a grave dishonour to one’s family
and was punishable by death. This was her crime. Her brother-in-law was given
the task of arranging her punishment. One morning while Souad was washing the
family’s clothes, he crept up on her, poured petrol over her and set her
alight. In the eyes of their community he was a hero. An execution for a
‘crime of honour’ was a respectable duty unlikely to bring about condemnation
from others. It certainly would not have provoked calls for his prosecution.
More than five thousand cases of such honour killings are reported around the
world each year and many more take place that we hear nothing about.
Miraculously, Souad survived rescued by the women of her village, who put out
the flames and took her to a local hospital. Horrifically burned, and
abandoned by her family and community, it was only the intervention of a
European aid worker that enabled Souad to receive the care and sanctuary she
so desperately needed and to start her life again. She has now decided to
tell her story and uncover the barbarity of honour killings, a practice which
continues to this day. Burned Alive is a shocking testimony, a true story of
almost unbelievable cruelty. It speaks of amazing courage and fortitude and
of one woman’s determination to survive. It is also a call to break the taboo
of silence that surrounds this most brutal of practices and which ignores the
plight of so many other women who are also victims of traditional violence.

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Transworld Publishers Ltd.


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