Burned Alive – Souad

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“It’s strange to think that we would make such an effort helping a sheep give birth when my mother was suffocating her children.”

“And the weeks passed. No one questioned me, no one wanted to know who had done this to me, how and why. Even if I accused Faiez, my father wouldn’t go looking for him to make him marry me. It was my fault, not his. In my country, a man who has taken a girl’s virginity is not guilty, she was willing. And, even worse, she asked for it, provoked the man because she was a whore without honour. I had no defence. My naivete, my love for him, his promise of marriage, even his first request to my father, nothing counts for anything. In our culture, a man who has self-respect doesn’t marry the girl he has deflowered.”

“Everyone was standing there, waiting. All of a sudden my brother-in-law came out with the linen, and that set off ulutations. The men whistled, the women sang, clapping their hands, because he had presented the linen. Hussein tacked it up on the balcony with white clothes pegs. The wedding was all in white, the pegs were white. The blood was red.

The sheep’s blood, the blood of the virgin, always blood.”

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