If this is right, then the intense focus on female sexual morality is a response to the collapse of most other forms of honor. When you live in a corrupt dictatorship and you cannot uphold your own dignity by refusing to participate in corruption, by speaking up for what you believe in, by being honest and noble and brave and true, then perhaps you might think: well, at least there is this one thing I can still control: my daughters, my sisters. It's not much, but I think I can imagine, somewhat dimly and without sympathy, why that might look like the only possibility you have when all else fails you, and why you might cling to it all the more if you knew, in your heart, that being honorable in any fuller sense was beyond you. When everything gives way and you have no solid ground to stand on, holding fast to almost anything can look like a good idea. Thus a person who has lost his job and cannot find another can stake everything on whatever small shred of dignity remains to him, and people whose neighborhoods are crumbling around them can take meticulous care of their own rooms and furniture, using their fastidious vacuuming and polishing and dusting as a way to ward off the chaos that is slowly swallowing everything around them.
The family then asked one of Zahra's cousins to marry her, which according to tradition would restore honour to the family. Fawaz agreed to marry her first out of chivalry, then because he fell in love with her.
Her family and the family of her soon-to-be-husband all came to the shelter to formalise her marriage, and her father signed a sworn statement guaranteeing that neither he nor anyone in the family would harm Zahra.
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