Honour lost, indeed
August 5, 2004 7:08 AM Subscribe
Forbidden Love: The Romance That Masqueraded as a Bio In early 2003, a Jordanian woman named Norma Khouri published a book entitled Forbidden Love (or Honor Lost in North America). This book was a memoir about how Norma Khouri's best friend, Dalia, was killed by her own father after she fell in love with a Christian military officer, and Norma's subsequent escape from Jordan. Forbidden Love was a bio that read like a sensational romance, and it sold 250,000 copies around the world and made Norma Khouri a celebrity in her adoptive country of Australia. However, it turns out that the book really was just a romance. Dalia never existed. Norma Khouri left Jordan at the age of 3 and grew to adulthood living in Chicago. So, one very disturbed woman has exploited Western prejudices about Arab cultures, fooled the general public, plunged her publisher into an enormous legal and financial embarrassment, and impugned the very real and serious problem of honour killings. And she got away with it for a full year and a half.
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