Thursday, July 29, 2010

Noor's Story

I'm working on getting some outfit posts and a diy post uploaded here in the next few days. I'm editing photos right now and am trying to get it all done soon. Until then, I wanted to share something with everyone...

Photos of Noor
Source: Marie Claire

Is anyone else a reader of Marie Claire? Well, I was reading the newest issue (with the adorable Miss Dakota Fanning on the cover) that I got a couple weeks ago and just hadn't had the time to sit down and look through it until now.

Inside there is an article about a 20 year old girl named Noor Almaleki from Arizona. She was raised in the United States from the age of four, but her family originally comes from Iraq.

Noor's family is solely centered around their strong beliefs and values. Noor was raised to do what she was told, follow her father's rules, and carry out Iraqi traditions, or suffer severe punishment.

According to the article, Noor dreamed of becoming a teacher, making her own decisions, dressing the way she wanted (in jeans and modern clothing like any other girl, for example), and marrying for love...not because her parents arranged her to. She wanted to be her own person, live and act like any other American girl, and not be weighed down by her strict parents' beliefs and customs.

Because of all this, her father murdered her.

On October 20, 2009, Noor and a friend named Amal, were walking together through a parking lot to get to a restaurant. Noor's father, Faleh Almaleki waited there to make his move. After spotting the two, he then floored his Jeep Grand Cherokee towards them. After frantically trying to run out of the way of the vehicle, both women were struck, sending them flying through the air. Amal landed on the pavement, while Noor on a raised median inside the lot. Unsatisfied, Faleh then sped towards his daughter, running her over with his vehicle, before speeding
away from the scene.

Amal suffered serious injuries, but was considered to be in stable condition. Noor, however, was unresponsive and suffered life threatening injuries. Noor died approximately two weeks later on November 2, 2009.

Murders like Noors are what are presently being called "honor killings." An honor killing is defined as the murder of a family or clan member (typically female) by one or more fellow family members (mostly male), in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community (Source: Wikipedia). Murders like these are becoming more and more common in the United States.

Noor's father, Faleh Almaleki, believed Noor was bringing shame to his family. His reasoning was that she resisted his rules and was becoming "too westernized" (The article in Marie Claire provides more details). By murdering her, he truly thought he would restore honor to the Almaleki family. He was quoted as saying, "For an Iraqi, honor is the most valuable thing." (Source: Marie Claire)

To make matters worse, Noor's family appeared to have supported the murder. Both Noor's mother, brother, and cousin assisted Faleh Almaleki in leaving the U.S. to go into hiding after the murder. They saw nothing wrong with the killing of an young girl, their own flesh and blood, if it meant bringing honor back to their family. Faleh Almaleki was no criminal to them and he believed that himself. After being arrested, Faleh Almaleki pleaded his innocence, "I'm not a criminal. I didn't kill someone randomly. I didn't break into someone's house. I didn't steal." (Source: Marie Claire)

This article shocked and sickened me. The fact that a father would kill his own daughter and truly think afterward that he did nothing wrong is unbelievable to me. The belief that honor killings are acceptable to some people angers me to the core.

I wanted to share Noor's story with you guys. I thought it was something people needed to be aware of and learn about. I hope everyone will pass this on.

For more information, I'm providing some links:

- The Marie Claire article featured in the August 2010 issue. Written by Abigail Pesta.
- Marie Claire's follow up on the trial of Faleh Almaleki.
- A Facebook page dedicated to Noor that I recommend joining if you were touched by her story.


Abigail said...

Hi Courtney,
Thanks much for posting the article on Noor Almaleki and encouraging people to join her Facebook group.
Abigail Pesta

Abigail said...

Hi Courtney,
Thanks much for posting the article on Noor Almaleki and encouraging people to join her Facebook group.
Abigail Pesta

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