Norma Khouri’s Forbidden Love

Norma Khouri's bestseller Honor Lost (published in Australia, Khouri's home, as Forbidden Love) told the story of a Jordanian 'honor killing.' Dalia, a young woman living in Jordan, falls in love with a Christian man and is murdered for this transgression by her father in order to defend the 'honor' of the family. Khouri claimed the story was nonfiction, based on the life (and death) of a woman she met while growing up in Jordan. But the Sydney Morning Herald discovered that Khouri did not grow up in Jordan. She actually grew up in a suburb of Chicago. And no person matching the Dalia character appears to have existed. Khouri's book was revealed to be fiction. The Australian publisher of the book withdrew it from sale.
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Norma' story is so heart rending and I discussed this story with my friends too.But,I was shocked when I came to know that what she wrote is just a imagination/fabrication.What about Dalia photographs?I want to know the truth behind this story.Ms Norma is supposed to reveal the truth.
She exploited our feelings,emotions and sympathy towards her character and made her book the best seller???
Posted by Agnes  on  Fri Jan 14, 2005  at  05:23 AM
I have just finished reading Forbidden Love and my opinion of this specific event been untrue is that regardless whether Dalia was real or not there is no doubt in anyone's mind that this could of happened ,HAS happened to thousands - millions of women and girls where their only crime was falling in love , rejecting an arranged marriage , or even just been victims of rumour. Now isn't this the part that people should be outraged about not that Dalia didn't exist but the fact that she could have.This story could very easily have been someone's life story.We need to realise that true or not Forbidden love brought the horror of honour killings into the mainstream I believe that the character Dalia should represent every women and girl who has been a victim of honour killings worldwide.
Posted by Kathrine  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  02:34 PM
i agree with you completely!! I have come accross innumerable articles and texts on the topic!! this is a book that gives us a platform for not only being able to glance into the everyday lives of such women- to be able to relate to them,- but for also allowing us to see that very little differs between them and us...the only major difference being the country of birth!! The feelings, emotions, ideas shared by them are quite similar to ours!! Hence, the irony of the situation- the lack of basic freedom that we take for granted, and such drastic outcomes for expression of one's feelings- even at the age of 25, hit home hard!! Its reality being struck at your face- that a world exists beyong what we see...a world so harsh and backward that it still wants to live on what a single book claims as the 'ideal way of life'!!
Of course, the fact that she lied was wrong and decreases the credibility of the book- it may be that what she wrote was an experssion of her personal opinions towards islam- rather than fact!! However, i feel that today, most of us are equiped with enough resources for us to be able to find out more about the culture!! Though there are things that i definitely find wrong in islamic books and followings- i m sure the culture has some good points about it too - just like every other culture in the world!!
Thus, to judge the whole of islamic society and culture based on this book, would be wrong- but it is good for realising how the book koran has been manipulated by men in certain countries, to obtain the edge over the opposite sex- just for their ease and comfort!! It is important to take the message of the book and to take some action against wat is happening - even if that jst means getting the neighbourhood aware of the term 'honor killing' and of its existance!!
Posted by anonymous  on  Wed Jul 20, 2005  at  10:52 PM
With all due respect to your opinions at the top, this book does not show a true image of a country a nation and the Muslim and Christian people of Jordan, nothing in the book is true, yes there are honour killing and nobody denies them, but the way she portrayed Muslim and Christian women in Jordan makes this book and the things in it a load of crap, you should not even think for a minute that it's her views about Islam, it's just a way for her to make money, riding on the bandwagon of all those people trying to make money after the Afghani war and Sept 11.
I am myself a Jordanian woman, we are a strong part of the society, colleges and universities are a majority of women. Norma is just a liar and none of what she says is true.

It just saddens me that anyone would try to see the logic with her lying, she is not a defendant of the cause by any means, she is a con artist trying to make some money...period
Posted by Duna Masri  on  Wed Jul 27, 2005  at  02:02 PM
I never said that this book portrayed the life of ALL Jordanian woman what I said is that the fact that this story COULD have been Some Jordanian woman's story is an outrage ,let me add I personally think that Norma portraying this story as fact is wrong and making allot of money out of it is even worse and she should be forced to donate any profit to a charity that help woman in need, but I do not agree with having the books removed from the shelves because of the fact that it has people acknowledging that honour killings do happen and something as simple as rumour can be used as justification for it and believe it or not there are allot of people around the world that denies their existence.
Posted by Kathrine  on  Wed Jul 27, 2005  at  05:48 PM
Katherine, I agree with you 100% that Dalia could have been a real person, but Norma insults Jordanians by saying the things she says about how women eat after men and how ALL men control the family and how mothers are helpless people who just sit and shut up to name a few of the lies in her books.
In this book she does not only talk about honour killings but she also attacks the Jordanian culture.
I have no qualms about her saying that rumour or falling in love with a man can endanger someone
Posted by Duna Masri  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  03:00 PM
I had never heard of the book before until i saw it in my home town library and finished reading it yesterday. I cried about last hundred pages of it and thought it was the sadest story i ever heard. Then I went to Internet because I wanted to see how the author, Norma Khouri looked like. Accidentally I saw also all these articles about the book being fake and I think it's awful. I know the story could be true but still I believe it's ethically wrong to claim this as a true story. It's horrible for her to say that she's gone trough it herself... I don't know. I just feel kind of silly after all the crying. It was especially touching to me because a year ago a young kurdish women was murdered in sweden by her father. This was because she was seeing a swedish man.
I also don't think it's fair to pass judgement for the people she apparentely doesn't even know. After reading the book I must tell, I thought I hated Jordan and the muslim people. Now my opinions might be a little bit distorted... don't know. I think I have to back to library and find some new books about the mid-east and te muslim.
Posted by Suvi  on  Mon Sep 05, 2005  at  05:14 AM
Who is to say that this book is fictional? because some australians claim that they've researched the girl and apparently she doesnt exist? Well perhaps they are trying to avoid the truth and pretend events like these never occur. This is ridiculous, how would the words from the book be so emotional and personal had she not have experienced these awful things?Not of all muslim people, but of the few that prioritise their reputation above their families?
Posted by LK  on  Tue Dec 06, 2005  at  12:27 PM
I borrowed this book from the local library and could not put it down I had to read it in one sitting. It moved me so much that I got on the net to look more indepth into honour killings to find that there is all this negitive talk that the book is fake and people are condeming Norma.
Well I say " SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!!". Ok so the book is not true the big question is WOULD YOU HAVE READ IT IF YOU NEW IT WAS'NT TRUE? Most likely not!!! What ever Norma had reason for IT WORKED everyone read it and took note!!! I am a house wife no one important outside my family BUT LET ME TELL YOU THIS..... I would have never picked this up to read it if I thought it wasn't real, like others. But now I know about these "honour killings" I feel sick with grief and would like to help. I owe this to Norma because she opened my eyes to this issue. And as far as condeming her for the mistakes.. GO AND TRY TO WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK AND COUNT YOUR OWN BECAUSE YOU ARE SOOO PERFECT!!! I DON"T THINK SO... IT IS A SHAME THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE SO MUCH TIME CONDEMING NORMA DON'T USE THERE TIME MORE CONSTRUCTIVE AND SEND IT INTO THE DIRECTION WHERE THE HONOUR KILLINGS ARE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AS YOU READ THIS AND DO CONSTRUCTIVE HELP AND AWARENESS..... AWARENESS LIKE NORMA MANAGE TO DO PULL OVER 250000 PEOPLE HEADS OUT OF THE CLOUDS AND RELISE OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING ON... SO THE BOOK IS NOT TRUE.... IT WORKED DID'NT IT?
Posted by Deanna Arnold  on  Mon Dec 19, 2005  at  03:09 PM