Forbidden Love – Norma Khouri


“Our mothers, like all mothers of daughters, did their job by training us to live in an unsympathetic, protected, male-dominated world. I’m certain no woman raised in Jordan escaped her childhood and young adulthood without hearing things like: ‘A woman’s honour, once ruined, can never be repaired’, or ‘Better to lose your life than lose your reputation’. They told us about the woman who chose to kill herself and die honorably rather than allow a potential rapist to assault her, and of the woman who didn’t preserve her honour and was raped, only to be murdered by her own family who were protecting their ‘good’ name.
Our parents wove into everyday life the idea that all men are superior to women. We were not beaten into a state of slavery with whips and chains, but rather persuaded into it by the words and teaching of centuries-old traditions. It was not our faith in those words that continued to bind us but our fear of the consequences if we ever went against them.”

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