Saturday, November 29, 2003

In palestinian culture, the sins of the brothers

are visited on the sister.

'ABU QASH — Rofayda Qaoud — raped by her brothers and impregnated — refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's 'honor' through murder.

Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. 'Tonight you die, Rofayda,' she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of 'No, mother, no!' After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.

Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. 'She killed me before I killed her,' says the 43-year-old mother of nine. 'I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor.'

... so much for pal 'family values'

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