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Expat wanderer

An Eye for an Eye in Iran – Penalty for Acid Disfigurement?

I found this today in the Washington Post

Woman Blinded by Spurned Man Invokes Islamic Retribution

By Thomas Erdbrink
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, December 14, 2008; Page A01
TEHRAN — Ameneh Bahrami once enjoyed photography and mountain vistas. Her work for a medical equipment company gave her financial independence. Several men had asked for her hand in marriage, but the hazel-eyed electrical technician had refused them all. “I wanted to get married, but only to the man I really loved,” she said.

Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over her head, leaving her blind and disfigured.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker’s eyes, acceding to Bahrami’s demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

You can read the rest of the article Here.

You may think you know how I feel about this. The man stole from this woman. He violated her very life. He stole her ability to see, her ability to support herself, he disfigured her for life and stole the likelihood of the love match she was holding out for. He treated her like property – if he can’t have her, then he will have revenge.

She fought – and won – for him to be blinded with the same acid she has been blinded with. She doesn’t ask that he be disfigured, only blinded. The court in Iran agreed. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

I’m interested in what YOU think. I feel sympathy for the woman, Ahmena Bahrami. I love the way she went after her attacker in the courts. I love it that she didn’t just collapse and be a victim.

On the other hand, I wish she had gone after something different. The thought of purposely blinding someone is SO repugnant to me, I can’t support it. I wish she had gone after his money, forcing him to support her at the level she was earning, for the rest of her life – and his. I find myself thinking – what good does it do to blind him?

He committed a heinous act. Hideous, unthinkable. And yet I find the punishment equally hideous, and unthinkable. I worry that in the future, she will regret having enforced this upon her assailant. I think that revenge, getting revenge, can extract it’s own price from our character. Do you think she will feel better? Do you think she will be happier knowing he was blinded in retrubution? I kinda sorta doubt it.

What do you think?

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Character, Crime, Cultural, Family Issues, Health Issues, Iran, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, News, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 35 Comments

Shivering in Seattle

AdventureMan isn’t sure he wants to settle in Seattle. He promised me a long time ago that since I had been such a good wife, following him all around the world, we could settle where I wanted, he didn’t care.

You know how promises like that are . . . as soon as I could, I quickly sold our Tampa Bay area house and bought a house in Seattle. 🙂 Even with the dramatic fall in house prices, our house is still worth more than twice what we paid for it. House prices are not slipping fast in Seattle. The market is slow, but the prices are holding at relatively high levels.

When we go to Seattle, AdventureMan shivers, and talks endlessly about Pensacola. He makes jokes about Seattle’s “two days of summer” and he wears caps that cover his ears. I know he will be a good sport about living in Seattle, but his heart is in the South.

His heart is one of the reasons I want to live in Seattle. In his little town in the South, most people his age are suffering seriously from heart disease and diabetes. The food is SO good in the South – but the major food groups are fat and sugar. We both love seafood, but I am not so sure it does us that much good when it is all deep-fried. Fortunately for me, there are usually also grilled grouper sandwiches, grilled tuna and blackened swordfish, etc. but when give the choice – AdventureMan will usually go for the deep-fried option. 😦

Today, however, he has every right to be cold. Seattle is shivering. This is not my photo, it was sent in to the Seattle Times, and I like it because it has the snow and the Space Needle:


The streets are covered with ice, and people are afraid of more snow is coming, with high winds. When that happens, trees fall on the electrical lines, many of which are still all above ground (ruining the views!) and leaving people without heat or electricity for days.

AdventureMan yearns for the relative heat and sunshine of Kuwait. See you soon!

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Kuwait, Marriage, Seattle, Weather | 12 Comments