Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Stop Honor

I used to send out e-mails to close friends about my adventures travelling and living in “exotic” places. When you live your entire life in one place, the smallest things that may seem trivial to you are interesting and different to those who have never been to your country. I would get letters back saying “you don’t know me, you don’t even know the person who shared your e-mail with me, but (that person’s) former wife is related to one of the people you sent the e-mail to . .”

If someone makes an interesting comment on a blog I follow, sometimes I follow that comment, which I did today. On the blog of a person I don’t follow, from a comment from another blogger I don’t follow, I found this fascinating website:
Stop Honor

Here is what I would describe as their mission statement:

INTERNATIONAL: International Campaign Against Honour Killings
Posted by Ginger on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 (12:56:46) (187 reads)

Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called ‘honour killings’, according to the UN. These crimes occur where cultures believe that a woman’s unsanctioned sexual behaviour brings such shame on the family that any female accused or suspected must be murdered. Reasons for these murders can be as trivial as talking to a man, or as innocent as suffering rape.

I’ve lived in countries where honor killings happened, and we knew about it. It would be in the paper. We saw it in Jordan, in particular, where there is now a huge effort to put an end to the killings, and in Qatar, where it was never in the paper, but the kids would tell their teachers about it, and word travels fast in a small country.

I never hear a word about honor killings in Kuwait.

Is that because there aren’t any?

December 11, 2007 - Posted by | Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Health Issues, Jordan, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Women's Issues | ,


  1. There is a book called “Burned Alive” about honor killings.

    Poor women, everything is our fault. “The Man” is never wrong.

    Comment by Chirp | December 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. I read the reviews on Amazon, Chirp. The first reviewer pointed out something interesting.

    In the US, if you are pregnant, your highest danger is being killed by your husband or boyfriend, who don’t want the responsibility of a family. It doesn’t fit the definition of an honor killing, but it shows an identical lack of regard for the value of the female. Thanks for the good reference.

    And it IS our fault, isn’t it, the way when they look at us, men are overcome by irresistable lust and forget all their self discipline? 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. I wouldn’t know much if there reported cases. I wouldn’t doubt that there are some cases, but I don’t think it is a widespread issue here, elhamdulillah!

    Comment by N. | December 11, 2007 | Reply

  4. It happens here, but it’s not common in the gulf in general, not from what I know in the circles I’m in/friends are in.

    I’ve heard of it happening in Saudi…I’ve heard of it more in Jordan, in Iraq, and in Egypt. Mostly Jordan though, but that might also be because of the laws that allow the men to turn themselves in, and they literally get no punishment for the crime. I’m of the opinion though that if there’s a wasta up high enough that no man in this part of the world would ever be suitably punished for an honor killing – I just believe that they’d always put the blame onto the woman and consequently justify it, and society would accept that.

    Comment by huda | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. @Chirp
    I read that book too.
    I have it here, but in German.
    It still gives me the shudders to think about it 😦

    The world is a weird place :S

    Comment by Nicole | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  6. N. – Thanks be to God!

    Huda – I think we would here, wouldn’t we, if it were commonly happening in Kuwait. People whisper, even if they don’t talk . . .

    Nicole – I understand the burn victim lives somewhere in Europe now. I wonder if she has bad dreams?

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  7. LOL seriously they make it seem as if God created them with no brains! Just an extremly strong sexual drive! Its so annoying how everything is “the womens fault!”
    I’m sorry if I’m good looking or attractive but God gave you a neck so turn it around. 😉

    Comment by Chirp | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  8. Just found an incident in Toronto quoted on a WordPress Blog,, here:
    Father Killed Daughter for Not Wearing Hijab

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  9. Chirp – How about “God gave you a brain, and parents who raised you to be moral, so get a grip! Take responsibility for your own fantasies and leave me alone!”

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  10. I’m sure she does.
    If you ever get the chance, read the book.

    Comment by Nicole | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  11. I think I had better read it in English! My German isn’t that good!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  12. @Nicole – its so crazy thinking someone who is supposed to love you no matter what would have the heart to kill you over something that could be forgotten in weeks!!

    intlxpatr – some parents don’t raise their kids right! I still remember in 7th grade, this guy was harrassing me and calling me names. So instead of creating a huge problem, I call his house and asked for his mother. When I told her what her son was doing she called me a slut! Mind you I was 12 at that time, and I didn’t do anything wrong!!!

    Comment by Chirp | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  13. @Chirp

    That’s something I’ll probably never understand in the way of traditional families, neither here, nor anywhere else in the world (it wasn’t THAT much different in Europe a few decades ago…)

    And no, I surely don’t understand how parents can do or allow anything like that :S

    Comment by Nicole | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  14. Chirp – Holy smokes! Holy smokes! I guess she didn’t want to hear what you were telling her. I can’t imagine how you must have felt. What did you say? Did you tell your parents? How did you make him stop harassing you?

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  15. No I didn’t tell my parents. I went to school and slapped him across the face twice.

    Comment by Chirp | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  16. Hi. Thanks for linking to my site.

    Over the past two years I have recorded three honour killing cases in Kuwait.

    My data is gathered by setting up a Google Alert for ‘honour’ killing so there have surely been more than that.

    Comment by Joanne Payton | December 12, 2007 | Reply

  17. Joanne, welcome, and thank you for your information. The first two links give me shivers – in both cases, they send the girl home with her family after they “sign a pledge not to hurt” her? They might as well just sign a death warrant.

    In the third case, I have to wonder where Adnan Al Enezi is today. His daughter was a virgin; he killed her because he thought she wasn’t – slit her throat, while her brother and sister watched, and changed his blade for a sharper one in the middle of it, while she screamed and bled to death? I pray he is still in the mental hospital, for the sake of any other children he may have.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  18. Holy Smokes, Chirp! Did he ever bother you again? And you are right, it is a “woman as property” issue.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  19. To Joanne Payton,

    Although that link in q8 shows that the father killed his daughter, but previously the community didn’t take part n being happy to make the family killed the girl. This case is different in other countries where the authority doesn’t even do anything!!!!! At least, it was said that the authority made her father signed a petition for not harming his daughter n her uncle helped her, so this is good. It is just a matter of her father did have a mental problem.

    Comment by b2507as | June 22, 2008 | Reply

  20. Honor killing is still murder and it should be stopped.
    Mrs. Barbour

    Comment by Barbara Barbour | July 10, 2008 | Reply

  21. Here is what I want to do about the situation. I’ve written a feature-length movie script called “Samira” which is a pre and post 9/11 story of forbidden love between a Jordanian-Palestinian woman who is a Muslim and an American man who is not a Muslim. They fall in love and consummate their passion. She does not become pregnant but her brother finds out, inadvertently and forbids them to have further contact. In the meantime, highly distressed, the man becomes a Muslim. This does not improve things between himself and the brother. Finally Samira decides to return to Jordan and tell her father what happened, knowing it could result in her honor-killing. How does it resolve? Wait and see! I have been filmmaking for years and I wrote this script several years ago but my demanding job as a correctional deputy kept me from doing anything about it. Now I’m retired and I’ll be looking for ways to get it financed.

    Comment by Chris | December 8, 2009 | Reply

  22. A bloody rascal murdered my friend K.Mohammed Jaseem.He was a talented artist of Malayalam,Tamil and Telugu Cinema.

    His murder occurred on 24th March 2010.Then I knew that his cousin is the murderer.The cousin is now in the Central Jail.
    He will be executed on 1st June 2010.

    Comment by Vishal Sathyan | April 18, 2010 | Reply

  23. This is how our highschool english class feels about the issue of honor killings:
    -It is unthinkable that someone could murder someone in their family for any reason, its sad to think that this is happening.
    -People need to be aware of honor killings
    -Honor killings are immoral, everyone has a right to life.
    -Women deservev a better life, we are all equal, no human being is more important than another one. Everyone should be able to live their own life not live others.
    -Honor killings are wrong and discustion.
    -Honor killings are wrong and disturbing.
    -Honor killing is disgusting, women need respect and equality.
    -There are better ways of dealing with an issue than killing family members. What they are doing is unacceptabe.

    Comment by Kaylee | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  24. Thank you for your feedback, Kaylee. It sounds like a great discussion.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 29, 2011 | Reply

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