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I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  783 ratings  ·  143 reviews
A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan--and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment

"Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality."--Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

From a young age, Khalida Brohi was raised to belie
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Random House
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Penny Speaking as a Gr. 6 - 8 MS Language Arts teacher, I feel it's fine for young adults. While violence is mentioned - murder, rape, etc it is not graphic…moreSpeaking as a Gr. 6 - 8 MS Language Arts teacher, I feel it's fine for young adults. While violence is mentioned - murder, rape, etc it is not graphically described. (less)

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Diane S ☔
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
For those of us like myself, who feel helpless to change things in their lives or their country, or those who think that one person cannot possibly make a difference, this book may change your mind. Khalida Brohi, grew up in rural Pakistan, with a very unusual father who cherished his daughters as much as his sons. Who thought education was very important, a way to move ahead in life, to open oneselves up to a wider world. So while Khalida wss allowed to be z child, playing outside after her dai ...more
Ina Cawl
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
my your daughter be in house or in grave

old Somali proverb

" Honor is not murder. And dishonor is not a girl who goes to school. It is not a girl who plays outside. It is not a girl who refuses to marry at a young age. It is not a girl who speaks, laughs, and takes the opportunities that come in front of her. Instead, honor is identity. Honor is dignity. Honor is serving those we love with integrity and hard work; it is respecting one another, welcoming the stranger, and speaking and being proud
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 courageous stars
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

If ever there was a place a culture, a time where women were dominated by the men in their family, that place would probably be in Pakistan. Kahlida, as a young girl wanted the things that all the young strive for. She wanted freedom to chose her life's direction and the man she would marry, to find her own way, to be a person who did not have every hour of every day plotted out for her. She writes of the lif
Kristy K
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

What initially drew me to this memoir was the cover: it’s stunningly beautiful and I desperately need a physical copy to grace my shelves once it’s published. But the cover is also deceiving. Because inside its pages is not flowery prose or a whimsical tale; it is a story of strength, of heartbreak, of strong will and meek upbringings and yes, of honor too.

Brohi examines her life and those of her parents and others in Pakistan to expose the harsh reality that many there live with: the
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author looks like another Malala Yousufzai wannabe.

Well,this was a quick read,because it didn't really grab my attention.I was a bit wary of this,because it carried an endorsement by Malala Yousufzai,who has turned her activism into global celebrity and big bucks.

The author seems to be following a similar path,too.She is an activist and speaks at Western conferences.The central issue,highlighted,is an important one.Honour killings in Pakistan,girls who go wrong,get killed by their own famili
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Powerful and heartfelt, I Should Have Honor tells the story of how a young tribal woman from Pakistan stood up against honor killing - a widely accepted tribal tradition in rural Pakistan, and struggled her way to bring justice to thousands.

When Brohi's cousin gets murdered at the age of fourteen, in the name of honor, she is repulsed and sickened by the brutality and unjustness of the violence. Determined to fight against this injustice she takes out her anger and frustration by leading the f
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
It feels churlish to critique a book like this: the memoir of a young woman who's spent much of her life campaigning against so-called "honour killings" and violence against women in tribal areas of Pakistan. Khalida Brohi has faced down familial censure and threats of violence, and even survived a bomb attack on her office. Her work is urgent, necessary, important—but I Should Have Honor is not a book which can be described in similar terms.

If not quite a sanitised narrative, this is certainly
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't recall what brought me to this book but I was excited to read this. I'm not familiar with Brohi but I am familiar with some of the topics her book discusses: arranged marriages, honor killings, cross-religious and cross-cultural relations and her mission to educate her people and country. After a couple of tough weeks I was looking forward to reading a book of a woman activist.

The book is Brohi's life and work: her background, her family, how she came to move into the line of work she did
Jill Dobbe
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I Should Have Honor tells the story of how the author fought against honor killings in Pakistan after learning early on what happens to her female friends and cousins who don't follow the centuries-old rules.

Brohi gets invited to conferences around the world to speak about the inhumane practices that women have to endure-married off at early ages, beatings by their husbands, and unable to leave their homes without permission. She also attempts to change the mindsets of the tribal leaders in the
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 I felt so many things reading this book. Anger, frustration, helplessness (hopelessness), etc. Many of things the author wrote I had already heard (or read) about. I'm not sure if she brought anything new to the table. But I tried to see things from her point of view and the points of view from others she wrote about; however, I was lost. I did not come away from reading this book enlightened. Would have liked the book to read with a better flow, with the author concentrating more on the sit ...more
Krutika Puranik
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
• r e v i e w •

Have you ever asked yourself why honor is associated only with women? A family or a tribe's honor almost always rests on the shoulders of young girls and they are obliged to carry this unwanted and unasked burden for the rest of their lives. Young girls are taught that bringing dishonor to the families will have serious repercussions which in villages is another word for death. But what is this dishonor that they speak of? Glancing at men knowingly or by accident, refusing to get
JG (Introverted Reader)
Khalida Brohi is a leading voice against the practice of honor killings in her home country of Pakistan. She has started foundations to empower Pakistani women to get educations, earn their own incomes, and improve their lives.

I'm ashamed to say that I had never heard of her before reading her memoir.

I was a bit familiar with the practice of honor killings and was of course appalled by them. The patriarch of a family apparently has complete discretion to order a woman in the family to be killed
Diane Yannick
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I probably should have known about honor killings in Pakistan, but I didn’t. I did know that is a patriarchal society that believes in arranged marriages. The men had to figure out a way to punish the women who dared to disobey. This way the honor of your family could be restored. Imagine having the audacity to fall in love with someone of your own choosing. There were also planned marriage exchanges between tribes. Often daughters were promised before they were born.

Thank heavens, Khalida Broh
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, early-reviewers
I received this book as part of the early reviewers through Librarything, though it doesn't seem to be an actual ARC. It was published on Sept 4th, and this copy does seem like a final copy.
I enjoyed reading Khalida's story of her fight for women's rights in Pakistan, in particular, the campaign to draw attention to the horrid practice of honor killing. Khalida is a brave woman with fierce determination and imagination. Her upbringing was unusual in that her father and mother wanted to make sur
Shehzeen Muzaffar
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I met Khalida brohi in an evemt and I somehow ended up interacting with her. It was my first time talking to her and she was so kind to me. She asked me about blogging and how she is so proud that i am breaking sterotype(I am a niqabi) and now when I have finally read her book anf I can tell you that she is as genunine and passionate about her work in real life as she is in the book. I respect her so much more now.

This book was short but it took me 2 days to finish because everything was so real
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the memoir of a young girl growing up in a tribal area of Pakistan. Khalida's father was sent to school as punishment, but instead found freedom in education. He went against his father and moved his family to Karachi so that his daughters could have an education. Khalida began to question what honor meant for her family when a cousin was murdered in an honor killing. Khalida became an activist to empower women within their tribal community.

Although this was a short book, I am glad I re
Powerful and thought-provoking, Khalida Brohi tells the story of honor in tribal Pakistan and what it means for the lives of women. Although the narrative was choppy and hurried at times I still loved every bit of it. The last chapter literally gave me chills. Khalida took hold of her fate and managed to change not only her own life but also of all those around her. She should be known the same way Malala is, even more so.
Sherie Lundmark
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book opened my eyes to Pakistani culture. Richly steeped in tradition and honor, A culture also in many families repressive and abusive to women.. It was very refreshing and inspiring to hear the path taken by Khalida, and the support and love from her family that is still at work today trying to improve the lives of Pakistani women.
Novels And Nonfiction

What I Liked

Learning more about the treatment of women in Pakistan. As I mentioned in the intro, I’ve been trying to educate myself about the treatment of women in those Middle Eastern countries where they are discriminated against (and neighboring countries in the region as well). I had already read Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala about her near-fatal experience fighting for her right to be educated in Pakistan. Brohi’s memoir gave me a different le
Jessica Armstrong
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an easier and faster read than I expected, given the gravity of the topic - honor killings. Khalida's story is impressive - she has done amazing things for someone so young. It provides prospective on how difficult it can be to change a culture- where do you start, how do you avoid criticizing long-held beliefs and the people who still hold them?
I enjoyed this and took away some important lessons on cultural identity and tribal customs.

Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Author Khalida Brohi is on a mission, a dangerous one. She was born in Pakistan to a tribal family who observes tribal customs, but she was blessed to have a father who defied those very customs. She was taught to read, and had a loving father who told her that she should have honor. While SHE had honor, she was appalled by honor killings and it is her life's mission to teach others that the old ways are not the best ways.

For readers who were inspired by Malala Yousafzai and her book, 'I Am Mal
I hope a movie gets made on this book.

Memorable Quotes:
Daughters are a blessing from God, but they are a tough gift to cherish. Everyone wants a piece of them. Always.

Don't cry. Strategize.

Then the teacher turned around. Blood splattered all over his shirt. The terror of the scene he had witnessed less than hour before became real to him. The girl murdered on the road was the teacher's niece, and that morning he had killed her, as well as the man who had been lying in the road, in the name of h
Brandon Istenes
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book in desparate need of a decent editor.

It brings together a few of my favorite things: activism, the Persian world, and feminism. It’s a great story composed of lots of little great stories.

But it was not edited like it needs to be edited. I don’t know who’s fault it was. A cocky author? A lazy or incompetent editor? Publishers just trying to sell a book by its cover, with no regard for quality?

In any case, this is a book that deserves much better editing than it got.
RaeAnna Rekemeyer
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a little girl, her father wanted her to be a doctor, but she grew up to heal what doctor’s cannot: a healer of souls. A tragedy that began in love lead Khalida Brohi down a road that would help her change her family, change her country, change the world, and bring her love. Read my full review at: ...more
Aly Olson-Turek
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book reminded me a lot of I Am Malala, which I enjoyed more. The most poignant parts of the book are when Brohi examines how honor killings were rationalized by people in her community, but I wanted more of how different people internalized these experiences and comparisons to how every culture does this with certain behaviors.
Julie Giehl
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Brohi writes that those who sit far apart do not understand each other. Her book gives you a seat next to her and it’s a worthwhile read. As an activist fighting to end honor killings in Pakistan, she shares a personal story about how education gives her and her family a chance at a different life. Easy read and well worth the time.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sajith Kumar
Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Man really needs something to live for. His existence is made worthwhile by the ideals he cherishes. If he happens to be situated with good financial support, such existential issues may not bother him. But in extremely poor societies, where each day’s business of living is so tough, the people really need something to justify their miserable lives. They turn towards honour as the reason for the pride they feel about themselves. In traditional societies, women's honour – translated in local term ...more
Chaahat Jain
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I should have Honor represents thousands of Pakistani tribal women who have been victim of Honor Killing.
This book tells you how Khalida Brohi stoop up for women’s right while she was just a teenager and how she went up to save so many lives and brought a change in the tribal communities.
She provided a new life to thousands of these women’s by giving them work and making sure they earn some money so they are respected by their male family members.
Khalida’s whole journey is so inspiring, the h
Amy Pickett
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
When she was a girl, Khalida Brohi lost her beloved cousin Khadija to an "honor killing"; three men in their extended family killed the fourteen-year old for dishonoring the family by falling in love and running away from home. Following tradition, after Khadija's death the family acted as if she had never existed. Grieving her cousin and deeply distressed by this brutal act, Khalida eventually turned her anger to a purpose: creating a powerful movement for women in Pakistan with the goal of end ...more
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Khalida Brohi, 29, is a serial entrepreneur, activist and speaker from Pakistan. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Sughar Foundation USA, a non-profit dedicated to providing tribal and rural women in Pakistan with opportunities to evaluate their abilities and nurture their leadership skills in an environment of growth and development.

Khalida is also co-founder of The Chai Spot with her

News & Interviews

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“Forgiveness is a selfish act. It unburdens you, relieves you and prepares you to move forward, take big steps and do all that you could not do when you were chained up in invisible ropes of a grudge.” 0 likes
“About one thousand woman are killed each year in Pakistan in the name of honor. And these are just the reported cases.” 0 likes
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