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Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan

Honor Lost: Love and Death in Modern-Day Jordan

Author(s): Norma Khouri

Location(s): Jordan

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): 1990s

Author Norma Khouri and her friend Dalia were like sisters. Since the age of three they were inseparable, sharing in all the childhood joys that a modern, middle-class life in Amman, Jordan, had to offer. By all appearances, they seemed very much alike: Like most Arab daughters they lived under the jurisdiction of their male brethren, and each was expected to enter a marriage based on family honor — not love. But Norma’s family was Christian, Dalia’s was Muslim, and each of the girls was bound to age-old religious customs and traditions that would someday tear them apart. Dalia is twenty-five when she falls in love with Michael, a Catholic. Their relationship is more than just a crime in the name of Islam: It is grounds for an “honor killing,” a practice that remains legal in Jordan today. Still, Dalia would have sacrificed everything — her relations, her beliefs, even her homeland — to be with Michael…until Dalia’s family finds out about her “haraam,” or forbidden, love.

As tragic as it is true, “Honor Lost” is by turns a heartwarming romance, a eulogy, and a cry for freedom for women across the globe.

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