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Book Report
Frida Jonsson
I have read Burned Alive, an autobiography written by Souad, a Palestinian woman now living in Europe who survived an attempted murder by her brother-in-law.
Souad is a very typical Palestinian woman who does her work carefully without complaining. She is very quiet, probably because if she would talk without permission her father would beat her. Like he always does when she makes mistakes, and also when she does not. Souad is very polite, smart and responsible and should not be treated the way she is. If she would have the chance to go to school I think she would be very ambitious and become a good working woman.
I can see some similarities between me and Souad. I am not much of a talker either (except from when I am around my nearest friends and my family) and I take responsability for a little to much sometimes. I also do a lot of chores at home, even though I am not forced to it. And I am pretty ambitious when it comes to school. But she has this thing that I could never ever be given. She has such a strength. Every day she wakes up, doing her chores and dreaming of a better life. She repites the same things day in and day out without a single word of complaint, and in the meantime (well, not exactually) I am living a great life here in Sweden, complaining about tiny things like homeworks.
Souad is today an adult living somewhere in Europe. She wrote this book when she was in the age of 37 and had given birth to one son and two daughters. She had forgotten about the incident for two decades so she went through repressed memory therapy to remember it again. At that point her life was so different from her previous life so even she was surprised of the memorys that came up.

Burned Alive: a Victim of the Law of Men is a best-selling book, ostensibly a first-person account of an attempted honor killing. , who doused her with gasoline and set her on fire, at the urging of her family. The book was written as a result of repressed memory therapy.

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 violenc

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