What’s wrong with these people?

What is this about really? Some sort of smear campaign against Jordan?

Honor LostiA Syrian publishing house that translated a best selling book written by a Jordanian author on Saturday said their only goal was to publicize the problem of honour killings.

“Honour crimes are a social problem and I am interested in highlighting the abuse that is inflicted on women. In my opinion, regardless of whether the story is true or fabricated, it reflects the reality in our life,” Syrian Cadmus Press Executive Director Ziad Muna told The Jordan Times in a telephone interview.

In his six-page book introduction, he wrote: “When we heard about Khouri’s book on what are called honour crimes, which are being committed on daily basis in Jordan and elsewhere in the region, we did not hesitate for one second to translate and publish the book.” “There is an urgent need to be publicly vocal, and through all means, in exposing these crimes that are committed against Arab women,” Muna said.

Source: [The Jordan Times]

This book is a hoax and was pulled off the shelves by the publisher. I discussed the book and how bogus it is in a previous post. The only reason I can imagine that they would translate it is to give Jordan a bad name! Why else? Really!

26 thoughts on “What’s wrong with these people?”

  1. Natasha,
    I know the book is a hoax and it is sad that they want to translate a book that was first presented as true, when it has turned out to be fiction.
    But, I do believe people in the Arab world need to be more vocal about honor killings, but this is the wrong way to go about it. Instead, the Syrian publishing house should find a real non-fiction writer to write a book about honor killings instead of translating a fiction one. That is really sad. The book takes away from the seriousness of the issue. It is like when a girl accuses false rape, it makes it harder for real rape victims to be outspoken or believed by the general public. This book did the same thing in my opinion. Im with you on this one.

  2. We have to acknowledge the presence of morons in this world. Monsieur Muna is undoubtedly a retard who has taken a very unsuitable job, a publisher. Such a book sells and after all such publishers are only merchants who care about their liras at the end of the day. I could tackle the issue from a different point but I don’t want to make any accusations or worse be labeled racist. But I will give you a flavor of the books Cadmus Press publishes “الايدز طاعون الشذوذ” (AIDS: The Plague of Homosexuality).
    I have heard about the deal with the original book a while ago. In fact I read pieces of it at the local B&N and found it to be silly and appealing only to those who believe Arabs are wife-beating goat-f*ers. I am very skeptical of such writings that deal with honor killings, the veil, arranged marriages, female genital mutilation, etc nowadays. It is becoming harder to discern the good from the simply idiots writing for mental midgets.

  3. I am intrigued that this man actually interested! Whether for profits or true concern for women, time will tell. From what JO mag says this month Rana Husseini remains a lone voice in the Jordanian journalistic world; it would be nice if some men would add theirs!
    Iyas, the book was of interest to me (although I doubted it’s truth – unisex hair salons?)because I had neighbors involved in killing, attempting to kill, and killing the souls of their daughters over alleged immorality. I have a very high view of Arabs. And these practices are unworthy of them.

  4. Fiction, or true ?
    Is there statistics to back up the one, or the other?. I doubt there is a scientific survey that accurately measures this phenomenon; how can this survey be conducted in the first place? Who is going to participate in it anyway !
    In an honor-based society,where every thing is a taboo, “7aram”, or “3abe” , terrible things can happen. Denial is not the answer, we can hide the flaws of our society under the rug until somebody starts his accusations and writings whether they are facts or lies . Sorry, I have to leave it here as I get to go to work soon.

  5. Jareer,
    No body is denying the existence of honor crimes in Jordan. That was not the point of the discussion. This topic revolves about how this author Khoury fabricated a story and sold it as non-fiction. She basically made money on the expense of the Jordanian reputation. One of those fabrications was that women in Jordan do not eat on the same table as men and they have to wait until men finish their meals so that they can eat the leftovers. WTF!!!
    Another fabrication was that Christians in Jordan pay the Jizieh (a Tax for non-Muslims that existed thousands of years ago.) I have never paid any sort of tax for being a Jordanian Christian! What is she talking about? Really!
    What was really annoying and very sad was the fact that her book became a best-seller!
    This woman spread lies about Jordan and Jordanians and tarnished our reputation all in the name of honor killings- a term that is very sellable in the west.
    So the point here is that this book is a hoax! The publisher discovered that it was indeed a hoax and pulled it off the shelves. Now, why would a Syrian publisher decides to translate it into Arabic? Why would he want to disseminate lies about Jordan? It is nothing but a smear campaign, don’t you think?

  6. “In an honor-based society,where every thing is a taboo, ‘7aram’, or ‘3abe’…”

    Eek! I find it very annoying when our Arab friends use bloody numbers in a word. How would you like it if I, for example, wrote 30nema instead of cinema, and 7eh for hafteh (week)? Use normal letters, at least that way everyone can deduce a meaning!

  7. Arash- remember that you are using the English language here, not Arabic. Natasha, I understand what you are saying; think of this as an example; when you pay real taxes, and part of this tax goes to “Ministry of Islamic affairs “Awkaaf”, to build a mosque, is this considered Jezyeh? Do taxes go to building churches as well ?

  8. Sorry Jareer but I don’t see this as Jezeyh! The Ministry of Islamic Affairs is a governmental organization and it ‘s very natural that part of the tax revenues goes to it as it is part of the government. There are no Christian governmental institution in Jordan which makes sense as Christians only make 5% of the population and Jordan as a country is a predominately Muslim country. And the taxes that go to the Ministry of Awqaf is paid by Christians and Muslims alike so it is definitely not a jezyeh-like which was imposed on Christians only during the umayyad rule.

  9. 7aram is meant to be read “Haram”, you know what that means, no? It is like “sinful”. 7 is the seventh alphabet in the Arabic langauge. It doesn’t exit in English. It is like a stressed “H”

  10. (1) alf, (2) ba’a, (3) ta’a, (4) tha’a, (5) jeem, (6) ha’a
    (Sorry, the smart ass in me had to check the count)

  11. Yes I know what Haram is, jeez. But, when we write Persian in Latin alphabet we just use English sounds. So ذ ز ض ظ become z, ث س ص become s, and ه ح become h, etc. We have a similar alphabet you know. We just don’t go crazy with the pronunciations, a h is a h! In fact, students have a ball making fun the Arabic teacher trying to distinguish between back of the throat h and the normal Persian h 😉 But ح is the 8th letter in Persian and 6th in Arabic. So why is 7 meant to be read ح?

  12. Arash,
    Why don’t you go and take a course in Modern Arabic, then come to this blog. I am sure you will be using English -Arabic more effectively then. Maybe Linda and Wendy would like to join your class. Its free, just go to any Arabic chat room, and you will learn those quick . I am sure you are a fast learner.

  13. Jareer,
    This blog is not designed for Arabic speakers only. If that was the case then I should be writing in Arabic no? Jareer, wendy and Linda’s comments and questions are more than welcome here and I’m more than happy to answer their questions. So please take it easy on them, I like them;-)
    3 is the letter “ein” like Amman. I don’t have an arabic keyboard here, that’s why I can’t type it in. It is writen somehow like “3” so for Amman, to pronounce it the right way we say 3amman.

  14. My apologies!
    I was just teasing some folks here, I shouldn’t have made comments on what requirements needed to participate, it is not my site,and it was meant to be a “humorous comment” but turned out to be annoying and again I apologize much !

  15. Blasphemy! 3 looks nothing like ع!
    Jareer, I’ve been to Arabic chartrooms. Quite a frightening experience 😉
    BTW, I don’t have the proper keyboard either, I use this online editor (only works for IE though). There is a ‘Pinglish’ to Persian editor as well, you can get a feel of how we type Persian in English.

  16. Oh lordy, I have tried going into an arabic chat room and second you enter they ask if your a girl, your age and if you will call them and marry them. Ill never caht in one or any chatroom again.

  17. It is fortunate that Jordan is one of the countries that is most open about the fact that honour killings occur and the challenges it is facing with honour killings. Hence this book being published (whether fact or fiction)will help to highlight the issues. It is very unfortunate that the book does make Jordan out to be so backward in its treatment of women when quite the reverse is true. Most people who take the time to read books of this genre are people interested in the Middle East or who have enough intelligence to realise that some of what is written is incorrect.

  18. Thanks for the encouragment, Jareer. I speak Arabic well but read and write at about 2nd grade. Someday maybe I’ll get to study it! I have to say I have never seen numbers represent letters, though.
    I, like Linda, haven’t had good experiences in Arab chat rooms and even some other blogs. I figured Natasha’s was safe, and enjoy all your input.
    Clare, good to be back on topic. I wanted to say that most of my US friends think of Jordan as the country with the gorgeous Queen and Petra, they think of Saudi when it comes to honor killings.

  19. please stop your defamation.
    if you have a “real” story about this crime, send it to me and i shall publish it.
    i contacted “suad”‘s publisher, but they refused to grant me the rights.
    dr ziad muna

  20. Dr Ziad, if you are asking for real examples of this type of crime you should contact Rana Husseini at The Jordan Times. She’s the real source for this information, cited on numerous occasions for this book, although as best I can recall she was never directly consulted for the work — only cited based upon stories she reported for the Times. I’m not sure your interest or goals, but I suggest going to Rana for your starting point. She could direct you beyond that point I’m sure.

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