Honor crime

Written by :
Marina Mansour

I went… alone… helpless… collapsed… but free

I sat down and remembered…

On the outskirts of Damascus, in a diverse city environment, that is wider than its area, around 4 p.m. when no one expected loud noise… the loudest noise happened.

Afternoon, when I heard the bell ringing, it was the first time I   opened the door unusually of me, but it seemed as fate had chosen me.

I opened the door a long time later and I saw a very thin shadow, nothing was in front of me but black color, hollow eyes and pale face, fear mixed with hope of survival, leaning on the wall for seconds then she gets up to carry her bags, trying to control herself to start a conversation that she does not know how to start.

I was shocked and afraid of the view, for the first time, I saw a human being not like a human, a woman who is not a woman, but a ghost, she was talking with hesitation: (your mother… here?… where is your father?)

I asked her to wait and I rushed to call my mother who was asleep, my mom came and knew the woman with her shimmering clothes and her hijab, which almost fell off her head, she let her in and sat down with her. 

I went to my room, but I was curious for the first time for eavesdropping, I heard what no one could ever imagine.

The woman repeated something that made my body chill and shake from shock!

(My brother wants to set me up with a guy to make money!)

He wants her to be a prostitute… he wants her a merchandise to sell her for money…

I kept listening to find out the details of the story, her brother was a doctor, which means an educated man, he locked her up for months at home without food or drink to make her accept her fate in exchange for giving her some food and keep the money he is going to take from a random filthy guy.

We might hear that a strange man did this to a woman, but is it possible for this to happen for a sister by her brother for money lust? 

Does he hate his sister that much? or greed blinded him and took away his whole humanity?

After listening too long about her misfortune, I went in and asked her and my mother to let me help this woman as much as I can, because I see my freedom in the freedom of every oppressed woman, my mom was cuddling her and rubbing on her shoulder, trying to ease her pain, which had no medicine, disappointment mixed with human rejection ached this girl, it shattered her soul and overwhelmed her.

My father stepped in when we called him and told him the story, he was deeply touched by her life story and agitated, he did everything he could to help her with his friends, and he finally secured her a job and a home away from the brutal place where she suffered, for the sake that she might forget what no one could forget.

It was terrible, but humans are always destined to forget, for nothing but to move on. 

I was proud of my parents because they helped her, regardless of religious differences, cultural differences, society and all these complications.

I wanted her to continue and succeed in her new situation, so I also helped, I believe that women must have the right to live, work, laugh and build, women must breathe air just like any other creature on Earth.

I contacted with a psychologist to help her with her case as much as possible, I knew nothing could erase those memories from her brain, neither forgiveness nor forgetting, a tragedy fixed in her mind that will not perish.

She thanked us very much, said that she had turned to us as a last solution, and was not sure that we would help her, she thought we would ignore her or kick her out, and thought my father would be a fanatic because he was a Christian cleric and refuse to help her claiming that she does not belong to him or his religion, but she changed her mind after what happened, she found that these differences do not stand in the way of helping the other.

She went… alone… helpless… collapsed… but free

Weeks later, she called us, and she was glad with her life, with her work, with the good people she lives with, one thing she was worried about is what she heard about her brother, who knew the last place she went to was our house, and he got angry because a Christian family helped his Muslim sister, considering that we have interfered with their lives.

It is not the religion’s fault in the behavior of her brother, who went after his desires and considered his sister to be a spinster and a burden on him, and it is not the girl’s fault to be afraid of her, and refuse to help her as long as we can, whatever her beliefs, religion and opinions were, humanity knows no difference, and because anyone of us might be in her place someday. 

Marina Mansour

“This was made by Radio Suryat 2020’s in Khalef Taref project

Differences do not constitute a barrier to helping others

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Marina Mansour