I'd thought that Kurdistan was relatively free and its people living under a more just social system than the rest of Iraq during the Saddam years.
Wro...moreI'd thought that Kurdistan was relatively free and its people living under a more just social system than the rest of Iraq during the Saddam years.
Latifa Ali's memoir shows a degraded and corrupt society. Absolute power corrupts not only governments but people in their own homes. Latifa Ali was a slave in Kurdistan, simply because she was a woman and because "honor killings" are accepted there. Her own mother betrayed her when she wouldn't marry a man who raped her, leading to her imprisonment in her father's house in Kurdistan. Tradition gave her father the right to kill her - and comes very close. She will certainly die if her father forces her to marry, for her bridegroom will discover she's not a virgin.
A distant cousin's death haunts her - the woman, in her 20s, had been the victim of malicious gossip, and her husband's family, shamed, took her to a field, drenched her in gasoline, and set her on fire. That dead woman's children, at the time Ali was writing, were the despised servants of their paternal grandmother, convicted by the rumor of their mother's guilt.
Ali takes pains to disassociate Islam from this despicable and brutal culture. It's the new "Not Without My Daughter." (less)
It's nuts that this book isn't better known. Shame on Atlantic Press for not marketing it better. Peter Korn has written a page-turner about the peopl...moreIt's nuts that this book isn't better known. Shame on Atlantic Press for not marketing it better. Peter Korn has written a page-turner about the people who worked at Lovejoy Surgicenter in Portland, and the protesters outside the doors, in the mid-1990s. That was a time when clinics were being blown up and doctors shot. So there's tension - you come to care about the people inside the clinic, and don't want to see them hurt. Even more compelling are the stories of the girls and women who come in. Interestingly, at Lovejoy, the staff often helped clients decide against abortion. A third of the patients chose to give their babies up for adoption or to keep their babies.
Between the schizophrenics, the drug addicts, the high school girl with an abusive boyfriend and a mother and grandmother who had their own first babies at her age, 17 - Lovejoy gives a glimpse into the realities behind the rhetoric. Great book. (less)