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I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan

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A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan--and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment "Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality."--Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize From a young age, Khalida Brohi was raised to belie A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan--and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment "Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality."--Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize From a young age, Khalida Brohi was raised to believe in the sanctity of arranged marriage. Her mother was forced to marry a thirteen-year-old boy when she was only nine; Khalida herself was promised as a bride before she was even born. But her father refused to let her become a child bride. He was a man who believed in education, not just for himself but for his daughters, and Khalida grew up thinking she would become the first female doctor in her small village. Khalida thought her life was proceeding on an unusual track for a woman of her circumstances, but one whose path was orderly and straightforward. Everything shifted for Khalida when she found out that her beloved cousin had been murdered by her uncle in a tradition known as "honor killing." Her cousin's crime? She had fallen in love with a man who was not her betrothed. This moment ignited the spark in Khalida Brohi that inspired a globe-spanning career as an activist, beginning at the age of sixteen. From a tiny cement-roofed room in Karachi where she was allowed ten minutes of computer use per day, Brohi started a Facebook campaign that went viral. From there, she created a foundation focused on empowering the lives of women in rural communities through education and employment opportunities, while crucially working to change the minds of their male partners, fathers, and brothers. This book is the story of how Brohi, while only a girl herself, shone her light on the women and girls of Pakistan, despite the hurdles and threats she faced along the way. And ultimately, she learned that the only way to eradicate the parts of a culture she despised was to fully embrace the parts of it that she loved. Praise for I Should Have Honor "Khalida Brohi's moving story is a testament to what is possible no matter the odds. In her courageous activism and now in I Should Have Honor, Khalida gives a voice to the women and girls who are denied their own by society. This book is a true act of honor."--Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org


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A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan--and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment "Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality."--Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize From a young age, Khalida Brohi was raised to belie A fearless memoir about tribal life in Pakistan--and the act of violence that inspired one ambitious young woman to pursue a life of activism and female empowerment "Khalida Brohi understands the true nature of honor. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice and equality."--Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize From a young age, Khalida Brohi was raised to believe in the sanctity of arranged marriage. Her mother was forced to marry a thirteen-year-old boy when she was only nine; Khalida herself was promised as a bride before she was even born. But her father refused to let her become a child bride. He was a man who believed in education, not just for himself but for his daughters, and Khalida grew up thinking she would become the first female doctor in her small village. Khalida thought her life was proceeding on an unusual track for a woman of her circumstances, but one whose path was orderly and straightforward. Everything shifted for Khalida when she found out that her beloved cousin had been murdered by her uncle in a tradition known as "honor killing." Her cousin's crime? She had fallen in love with a man who was not her betrothed. This moment ignited the spark in Khalida Brohi that inspired a globe-spanning career as an activist, beginning at the age of sixteen. From a tiny cement-roofed room in Karachi where she was allowed ten minutes of computer use per day, Brohi started a Facebook campaign that went viral. From there, she created a foundation focused on empowering the lives of women in rural communities through education and employment opportunities, while crucially working to change the minds of their male partners, fathers, and brothers. This book is the story of how Brohi, while only a girl herself, shone her light on the women and girls of Pakistan, despite the hurdles and threats she faced along the way. And ultimately, she learned that the only way to eradicate the parts of a culture she despised was to fully embrace the parts of it that she loved. Praise for I Should Have Honor "Khalida Brohi's moving story is a testament to what is possible no matter the odds. In her courageous activism and now in I Should Have Honor, Khalida gives a voice to the women and girls who are denied their own by society. This book is a true act of honor."--Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org

30 review for I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    For those of us like myself, who feel helpless to change things in their lives or their country, or those who think that one person cannot possibly make a difference, this book may change your mind. Khalida Brohi, grew up in rural Pakistan, with a very unusual father who cherished his daughters as much as his sons. Who thought education was very important, a way to move ahead in life, to open oneselves up to a wider world. So while Khalida wss allowed to be z child, playing outside after her dai For those of us like myself, who feel helpless to change things in their lives or their country, or those who think that one person cannot possibly make a difference, this book may change your mind. Khalida Brohi, grew up in rural Pakistan, with a very unusual father who cherished his daughters as much as his sons. Who thought education was very important, a way to move ahead in life, to open oneselves up to a wider world. So while Khalida wss allowed to be z child, playing outside after her daily chores, she noticed other young girls that were not. Girls married off, like her own mother had been, at too young an age, taking on adult responsibilities. It was when her cousin, a young girl of thirteen was murdered in an honor killing, that Khalida decided to work towards change. This would take her on a journey across continents, across cultural barriers, at great risk to her own health and safety. Told in a simple manner, in a very personal way, this book takes us to rural Pakistan, their families, their culture, and their beliefs. Changing people's long held beliefs, is beyond challenging, but this is one very determined young woman. What she accomplishes, where she ends up in life, is nothing short of astonishing. She makes many missteps, but is compelled to start again, often in s different way. She shows the good and the bad about the rursl tribes of Pakistan, what many of the women daily face. In a male oriented society where there are no legal protection for women, and men decide their lives from an early age. She needs to make them see that what they think of as honor can have a different meaning. A challenge for sure, but not one she steps away from. Truly remarkable and shows that yes, one person, one idea can make a difference. "I have come to see that the presence of honor, of dignity, in our lives is the strength that enables us to thrive." I think we can all do with a little more dignity and honor, regardless of the country in which we live.Sadly, nowadays it seems to be missing. ARC from Random House.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

    my your daughter be in house or in grave old Somali proverb " Honor is not murder. And dishonor is not a girl who goes to school. It is not a girl who plays outside. It is not a girl who refuses to marry at a young age. It is not a girl who speaks, laughs, and takes the opportunities that come in front of her. Instead, honor is identity. Honor is dignity. Honor is serving those we love with integrity and hard work; it is respecting one another, welcoming the stranger, and speaking and being proud my your daughter be in house or in grave old Somali proverb " Honor is not murder. And dishonor is not a girl who goes to school. It is not a girl who plays outside. It is not a girl who refuses to marry at a young age. It is not a girl who speaks, laughs, and takes the opportunities that come in front of her. Instead, honor is identity. Honor is dignity. Honor is serving those we love with integrity and hard work; it is respecting one another, welcoming the stranger, and speaking and being proud of your own language. It is providing for your family, striving for the best in life" before i review this book i was reminded about two honor killing incidents that occurred in my nation, luckily in the first the girl was saved before it was killed but in the second one the crime has already happens in 2017 Hoodo Mukhtaar is a women who fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe her parents thought unworthy of her and so she escaped with her husband and returned to her parents to get their blessing but they abducted her and tortured her and if the police didn’t interfere she would definitely would be killed in 2018 women fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe so hated and prejudiced that most Somali consider them foreigners although they in these lands for many year, the girl family responded violently to her daughter love by trying to abduct and kill her and when she didn’t the couple she captured the groom uncle and after torturing him she and other tribesmen killed him and burned him. in these two cases am sure you have noticed that what links these two cases is one word Honor this word has ruined the lives of many girls in my part of the world and forbid them from falling in love, to learn,to educate themselves and even to go outside their houses, how these honor killing came to be is unknown and still many countries see it as normal many NGO around the world are fighting this heinous crime. everyday i wake up and read news i always encountered that word Honor Killing in many Arabic newspapers although i didn’t fully absorb what that word means reading this book especially written by women showed how privileged as men i am in my patriarchal society and that i have many freedom that i didn’t appreciate that wasn’t available to females and one of these freedom includes falling in love with the one i want although these is rare its natural for men in my city to gift their daughter to men or to promise it to them before even they were born and it seems and it seems this cruel customs are not only found in my nation but its a big problem shared by many nations in the third world and this problem affects women more than men. our author was born in Balochistan which is very tribal region and while in childhood she discovered her privilege as her parents allowed her to play outside the house unlike many girls of her age who their parents forbid them from leaving outside without male partner because women reputation affects the honor of her brothers father and uncles. luckily for the author she had father who went to schools against the wishes of his parent and refused to give his daughter to marriage because of some tribal promise and he even educated his daughters against the wishes of his family, and unlike rich nations there is a little or no childhood when you live in poor countries and just as girls reach five she is expected to help her mom with house work and the boy to work with his father to earn income. in her early teenage our author the gruesome murder of her cousin as she strangled by her cousins for dishonoring them and running away with another men and this murder led her to lifelong goal of fighting this barbaric custom which kills women and its estimated to kill one thousand women in Pakistan every year interestingly education and independent income earning saved our author and will always save many women from cultural custom meant to control her

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    4 courageous stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... If ever there was a place a culture, a time where women were dominated by the men in their family, that place would probably be in Pakistan. Kahlida, as a young girl wanted the things that all the young strive for. She wanted freedom to chose her life's direction and the man she would marry, to find her own way, to be a person who did not have every hour of every day plotted out for her. She writes of the lif 4 courageous stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... If ever there was a place a culture, a time where women were dominated by the men in their family, that place would probably be in Pakistan. Kahlida, as a young girl wanted the things that all the young strive for. She wanted freedom to chose her life's direction and the man she would marry, to find her own way, to be a person who did not have every hour of every day plotted out for her. She writes of the life she was destined to lead, one where women and girls were covered, one where women were controlled by men, one where a male relative literally had the power of life or death over female relatives whom were felt to dishonor the family. Fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins could and did kill their daughters when they thought these girls shamed them as Khalida learned when a cousin of hers was honor killed. The infringement could be as little as looking at a man up to running away with the man you loved. It was a brutal culture where men ruled in these tribal groups that inhabited Pakistan. Khalida was her father's beloved daughter. He was different in his approach to his daughter wanting for her an education, being educated himself, knowing it was her only way out of a life of ignorance and containment. He indulges her, educates her as best he can, always fearful of the culture which made women and girls pawns in the family. Khalida succeeds though not without many struggles as she and other fight against a culture driven by men and centuries of believing women were the chattels of their fathers, husband, and any male relative. It was a sad but inspiring story as Khalida grows to adulthood, she fights to right the wrongs of the men. Khalida loves her country, she finds it beautiful in so many ways, and it is through working with this culture, this terrain that she brings to many the ability to feel pride and eliminate fear. Recommended for those who so enjoyed My Name is Malia. This book will reinforce that we in this country are ever so fortunate to live in a culture where women are valued and free. Thank you to Khalida Brohi, Random House, and NetGalley for a copy of this admirable book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristy K

    3.5 Stars What initially drew me to this memoir was the cover: it’s stunningly beautiful and I desperately need a physical copy to grace my shelves once it’s published. But the cover is also deceiving. Because inside its pages is not flowery prose or a whimsical tale; it is a story of strength, of heartbreak, of strong will and meek upbringings and yes, of honor too. Brohi examines her life and those of her parents and others in Pakistan to expose the harsh reality that many there live with: the 3.5 Stars What initially drew me to this memoir was the cover: it’s stunningly beautiful and I desperately need a physical copy to grace my shelves once it’s published. But the cover is also deceiving. Because inside its pages is not flowery prose or a whimsical tale; it is a story of strength, of heartbreak, of strong will and meek upbringings and yes, of honor too. Brohi examines her life and those of her parents and others in Pakistan to expose the harsh reality that many there live with: the idea that women are less than. And because of their inferior place they are subject to little freedom, a lack of education and job opportunities (if any), and strict customs. But perhaps most alarming is the way they are to bring honor to their families and the consequence of any indiscretion. Brohi's life was greatly influenced by these honor killings and she rose above at a young age to make a change in her country. The dichotomy between the way author’s parents raised her and the way their culture dictated she should be raised played a strong role in the shaping of Brohi's character. She saw the sacrifices her parents made in order to give her strength and independence and she took that to create an organization to empower other Pakistani women. I loved Brohi's observation and lesson learned that you can’t just go in and change people’s whole way of life overnight. It reminded me of a book I read earlier this year where the author discussed how after the fall of the USSR his country was just suppose to become capitalist and democratic. No transition, no educating. Just a new idea forced upon them with no time for acclimation. As Brohi learned, you can’t make people change what’s been in their culture and way of life in a few days, even if those changes are right and/or for a better future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    W

    The author looks like another Malala Yousufzai wannabe. Well,this was a quick read,because it didn't really grab my attention.I was a bit wary of this,because it carried an endorsement by Malala Yousufzai,who has turned her activism into global celebrity and big bucks. The author seems to be following a similar path,too.She is an activist and speaks at Western conferences.The central issue,highlighted,is an important one.Honour killings in Pakistan,girls who go wrong,get killed by their own famili The author looks like another Malala Yousufzai wannabe. Well,this was a quick read,because it didn't really grab my attention.I was a bit wary of this,because it carried an endorsement by Malala Yousufzai,who has turned her activism into global celebrity and big bucks. The author seems to be following a similar path,too.She is an activist and speaks at Western conferences.The central issue,highlighted,is an important one.Honour killings in Pakistan,girls who go wrong,get killed by their own families.Happens all too frequently. But the book is rather badly written,the author's heart bleeds for those women and she founds a non profit to help them.Then,she turns into an activist and a mini celebrity.Or maybe she is a major celebrity,I don't know. That said,speaking against honour killings in the West is not going to stop them in Pakistan. 2 stars for highlighting the issue,one star for the quality of the writing. Abandoned.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Fareya

    Powerful and heartfelt, I Should Have Honor tells the story of how a young tribal woman from Pakistan stood up against honor killing - a widely accepted tribal tradition in rural Pakistan, and struggled her way to bring justice to thousands. When Brohi's cousin gets murdered at the age of fourteen, in the name of honor, she is repulsed and sickened by the brutality and unjustness of the violence. Determined to fight against this injustice she takes out her anger and frustration by leading the f Powerful and heartfelt, I Should Have Honor tells the story of how a young tribal woman from Pakistan stood up against honor killing - a widely accepted tribal tradition in rural Pakistan, and struggled her way to bring justice to thousands. When Brohi's cousin gets murdered at the age of fourteen, in the name of honor, she is repulsed and sickened by the brutality and unjustness of the violence. Determined to fight against this injustice she takes out her anger and frustration by leading the fight against this unfairness faced by many young girls. In this brave and eye-opening memoir, Brohi talks about the struggles and injustice endured by tribal women in the name of custom and religion, and her resolute effort towards change and female empowerment. Over the years Khalida Brohi has worked as an activist, constantly striving towards her goal to end honor killings and doing everything in her power to raise awareness and provide opportunities to rural women in Pakistan helping them recognize their potential. It was heartbreaking to read about the way women are treated in certain tribal cultures, and Brohi's constant pursuit towards justice and equality is nothing less than inspiring. Recommended if you like inspirational memoirs and personal battles overcoming the odds. For more reviews visit my blog Booktimistic - Books, Outdoors & Optimism ** A free finished copy was provided by Random House. All opinions are my own**

  7. 5 out of 5

    Siria

    It feels churlish to critique a book like this: the memoir of a young woman who's spent much of her life campaigning against so-called "honour killings" and violence against women in tribal areas of Pakistan. Khalida Brohi has faced down familial censure and threats of violence, and even survived a bomb attack on her office. Her work is urgent, necessary, important—but I Should Have Honor is not a book which can be described in similar terms. If not quite a sanitised narrative, this is certainly It feels churlish to critique a book like this: the memoir of a young woman who's spent much of her life campaigning against so-called "honour killings" and violence against women in tribal areas of Pakistan. Khalida Brohi has faced down familial censure and threats of violence, and even survived a bomb attack on her office. Her work is urgent, necessary, important—but I Should Have Honor is not a book which can be described in similar terms. If not quite a sanitised narrative, this is certainly a very packaged one. Its goal is to uplift, to be inspirational, but Brohi seems to think that this can best be accomplished by having almost all the messiness—the violence, the hard slog of community engagement and organising, women's righteous anger—happen off the page. What does her organisation really do? How does it operate, what concrete changes has it brought about, what do the women who use it really think of it—or of Brohi? Even now, I don't really know. Brohi shouldn't have to gut herself on the page to gain credibility, of course, but the best memoirs have some measure of emotional vulnerability to them. I Should Have Honor is emotionally flat, tell-not-show.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Don't recall what brought me to this book but I was excited to read this. I'm not familiar with Brohi but I am familiar with some of the topics her book discusses: arranged marriages, honor killings, cross-religious and cross-cultural relations and her mission to educate her people and country. After a couple of tough weeks I was looking forward to reading a book of a woman activist. The book is Brohi's life and work: her background, her family, how she came to move into the line of work she did Don't recall what brought me to this book but I was excited to read this. I'm not familiar with Brohi but I am familiar with some of the topics her book discusses: arranged marriages, honor killings, cross-religious and cross-cultural relations and her mission to educate her people and country. After a couple of tough weeks I was looking forward to reading a book of a woman activist. The book is Brohi's life and work: her background, her family, how she came to move into the line of work she did despite cultural/familial pressures not to do this, what happened right after, plus finding love and happiness. Initially it seemed great. I was so excited and happy to read about her her father, barely a teenager, decided not to listen to his male relatives when it was clear his bride, the author's mother, was terrified (having been married off at the age of NINE!!!!). Instead they chatted with each other all night on their wedding night and genuinely became friends. But once the author gets away from her origin story the book goes downhill. Her mother bears her first child at 13 (!) and I have to agree with other reviews that say the author doesn't really bring anything new. I applaud her work and admire how she overcame issues like cultural pressure, the lack of infrastructure, etc. but after her cousin dies it becomes more like a rote list of what the author did and her work. I think for the right readers this would definitely be a book that will resonate with some and inspire others. But I couldn't really connect with the author very much (although I could sympathize with her culture shock). I'm glad she's doing what she enjoys and did not endure the same fate of so many but I also wouldn't recommend someone rush out and read this, either. Borrowed from the library and that was the way to go for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill Dobbe

    I Should Have Honor tells the story of how the author fought against honor killings in Pakistan after learning early on what happens to her female friends and cousins who don't follow the centuries-old rules. Brohi gets invited to conferences around the world to speak about the inhumane practices that women have to endure-married off at early ages, beatings by their husbands, and unable to leave their homes without permission. She also attempts to change the mindsets of the tribal leaders in the I Should Have Honor tells the story of how the author fought against honor killings in Pakistan after learning early on what happens to her female friends and cousins who don't follow the centuries-old rules. Brohi gets invited to conferences around the world to speak about the inhumane practices that women have to endure-married off at early ages, beatings by their husbands, and unable to leave their homes without permission. She also attempts to change the mindsets of the tribal leaders in the villages where she grew up. Her true-to-life stories are difficult to read at times, but give a real portrayal of what it's like to be female in a Muslim and male-dominated world. Thank you Net Galley.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shehzeen Muzaffar

    I met Khalida brohi in an evemt and I somehow ended up interacting with her. It was my first time talking to her and she was so kind to me. She asked me about blogging and how she is so proud that i am breaking sterotype(I am a niqabi) and now when I have finally read her book anf I can tell you that she is as genunine and passionate about her work in real life as she is in the book. I respect her so much more now. This book was short but it took me 2 days to finish because everything was so real I met Khalida brohi in an evemt and I somehow ended up interacting with her. It was my first time talking to her and she was so kind to me. She asked me about blogging and how she is so proud that i am breaking sterotype(I am a niqabi) and now when I have finally read her book anf I can tell you that she is as genunine and passionate about her work in real life as she is in the book. I respect her so much more now. This book was short but it took me 2 days to finish because everything was so real. It is something I have seen happening and it is something i still struggle with. But i am so proud of her that she did what she wanted to do. Just read this book!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    2.5 I felt so many things reading this book. Anger, frustration, helplessness (hopelessness), etc. Many of things the author wrote I had already heard (or read) about. I'm not sure if she brought anything new to the table. But I tried to see things from her point of view and the points of view from others she wrote about; however, I was lost. I did not come away from reading this book enlightened. Would have liked the book to read with a better flow, with the author concentrating more on the sit 2.5 I felt so many things reading this book. Anger, frustration, helplessness (hopelessness), etc. Many of things the author wrote I had already heard (or read) about. I'm not sure if she brought anything new to the table. But I tried to see things from her point of view and the points of view from others she wrote about; however, I was lost. I did not come away from reading this book enlightened. Would have liked the book to read with a better flow, with the author concentrating more on the situations than the landscape.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Krutika Puranik

    • r e v i e w • . Have you ever asked yourself why honor is associated only with women? A family or a tribe's honor almost always rests on the shoulders of young girls and they are obliged to carry this unwanted and unasked burden for the rest of their lives. Young girls are taught that bringing dishonor to the families will have serious repercussions which in villages is another word for death. But what is this dishonor that they speak of? Glancing at men knowingly or by accident, refusing to get • r e v i e w • . Have you ever asked yourself why honor is associated only with women? A family or a tribe's honor almost always rests on the shoulders of young girls and they are obliged to carry this unwanted and unasked burden for the rest of their lives. Young girls are taught that bringing dishonor to the families will have serious repercussions which in villages is another word for death. But what is this dishonor that they speak of? Glancing at men knowingly or by accident, refusing to get married and ultimately falling in love. These three conditions have taken lives of thousands of girls and still continues to do so. Khalida Brohi who grew up in Balochistan and later moved to Karachi heard of her own friend's murder by the hands of her uncle. All this, for just falling in love with a boy. She says 'Honor is not the inheritance of men. Every woman should have honor'. . Khalida belongs to the tribe of Brahui who mostly are from Balochistan. As a girl, she witnessed her friends getting married at a young age of 11 or as soon as they attain puberty. Her own mother was married to a 13 year old boy at an age of 9. Thankfully, Khalida's father who struggled to get an education pushed her to do the same. He went against his tribe by not getting his daughter married as a teenager but instead by making her study. Education is what made Khalida strong. When she heard of honor killings of girls including that of her friend's, she knew she had to do something about it. At just 16, she created groups to educate people about Islamic rights for women and supported their talents. As her fame grew, she visited Australia and later America much to the apprehension of her family. Not only did she come back with renewed knowledge, she also used the embroidery working skills of her women to keep the income flowing in. Khalida became the voice of thousands of women who struggled to find words of their own. . All this didn't happen overnight. She faced hatred, death threats and innumerable hurdles from her own community but with the help of several kind people both at home and from abroad, she marched on. She opened several recreation centers for women, a safe space for them to communicate and learn various ways to enhance their talents. Khalida, who now lives in the US still works towards strengthening women's lives. There's no doubt that she's a terrific inspiration for not only standing up against such a horrid practice of honor killing but also in going against many scoffed people around her to achieve such greatness. I definitely recommend this. . Rating : 4.4/5.

  13. 5 out of 5

    JG (Introverted Reader)

    Khalida Brohi is a leading voice against the practice of honor killings in her home country of Pakistan. She has started foundations to empower Pakistani women to get educations, earn their own incomes, and improve their lives. I'm ashamed to say that I had never heard of her before reading her memoir. I was a bit familiar with the practice of honor killings and was of course appalled by them. The patriarch of a family apparently has complete discretion to order a woman in the family to be killed Khalida Brohi is a leading voice against the practice of honor killings in her home country of Pakistan. She has started foundations to empower Pakistani women to get educations, earn their own incomes, and improve their lives. I'm ashamed to say that I had never heard of her before reading her memoir. I was a bit familiar with the practice of honor killings and was of course appalled by them. The patriarch of a family apparently has complete discretion to order a woman in the family to be killed if she brings dishonor on the family. In the examples in the book, this usually comes about when a "woman" (usually barely past puberty) decides to run away with a man who hasn't been chosen for her by her elders. It seems to be common for girls to be promised in marriage to other families at incredibly young ages, sometimes even before birth. The girls aren't allowed any voice in the matter. When Ms. Brohi's cousin is the victim of an honor killing, Khalida launches a crusade to change things in Pakistan. Her road isn't easy. Her parents educated her and encouraged her but even they sometimes struggled with her choices, especially when her activism brought dangerous attention her way. Young women like Khalida Brohi and Malala Yousafzai are where my hope for our future lies. They have overcome such immense challenges to cause such amazing changes. Khalida sees what is good in her culture and shares that here but she's trying to effect change to make the terrible parts better. She has learned the importance of working within her cultural framework; change that is too fast or radical doesn't garner the support that it needs and just upsets everyone. Never doubt that one person can change the world; Khalida is one person who is doing it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane Yannick

    I probably should have known about honor killings in Pakistan, but I didn’t. I did know that is a patriarchal society that believes in arranged marriages. The men had to figure out a way to punish the women who dared to disobey. This way the honor of your family could be restored. Imagine having the audacity to fall in love with someone of your own choosing. There were also planned marriage exchanges between tribes. Often daughters were promised before they were born. Thank heavens, Khalida Broh I probably should have known about honor killings in Pakistan, but I didn’t. I did know that is a patriarchal society that believes in arranged marriages. The men had to figure out a way to punish the women who dared to disobey. This way the honor of your family could be restored. Imagine having the audacity to fall in love with someone of your own choosing. There were also planned marriage exchanges between tribes. Often daughters were promised before they were born. Thank heavens, Khalida Brohi’s dad stood up for her and refused to promise her to another tribe. The book she has written is informative and gave me insight into a society that I can’t even imagine. Khalida changed women’s lives in both subtle and overt ways that made a huge difference in women’s lives and attitudes. First you have to believe that you deserving of honor. Her fearless work on behalf of women has given her many opportunities across the world to speak out. I would put Khalida on the same pedestal as I put Malala Yousafzai. Late in 2016, a law was passed in Pakistan making honor killings a crime. Here is just one incident from Sept. 24, 2018: “In another incident of honor killing, an 18 year old girl was beheaded along with her 21 year old boyfriend by her father and her uncle in a village in Attock.” (near Punjabi) There are many more current day examples. At least, punishment is finally possible, although not always meted out. I will choose this book to discuss with my book club next year.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Homeschoolmama

    I received this book as part of the early reviewers through Librarything, though it doesn't seem to be an actual ARC. It was published on Sept 4th, and this copy does seem like a final copy. I enjoyed reading Khalida's story of her fight for women's rights in Pakistan, in particular, the campaign to draw attention to the horrid practice of honor killing. Khalida is a brave woman with fierce determination and imagination. Her upbringing was unusual in that her father and mother wanted to make sur I received this book as part of the early reviewers through Librarything, though it doesn't seem to be an actual ARC. It was published on Sept 4th, and this copy does seem like a final copy. I enjoyed reading Khalida's story of her fight for women's rights in Pakistan, in particular, the campaign to draw attention to the horrid practice of honor killing. Khalida is a brave woman with fierce determination and imagination. Her upbringing was unusual in that her father and mother wanted to make sure she was educated, going against the grain of the culture. Instead of arranging marriage for Khalida when she was a child, or even before her birth, her parents adopted a more liberal approach, encouraging above all things, education. I thought the story was inspiring, but the writing was a bit too all over the place for me. The narrative style came across as very young to me, impulsive and a bit ADD. A good book overall. 3 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is the memoir of a young girl growing up in a tribal area of Pakistan. Khalida's father was sent to school as punishment, but instead found freedom in education. He went against his father and moved his family to Karachi so that his daughters could have an education. Khalida began to question what honor meant for her family when a cousin was murdered in an honor killing. Khalida became an activist to empower women within their tribal community. Although this was a short book, I am glad I re This is the memoir of a young girl growing up in a tribal area of Pakistan. Khalida's father was sent to school as punishment, but instead found freedom in education. He went against his father and moved his family to Karachi so that his daughters could have an education. Khalida began to question what honor meant for her family when a cousin was murdered in an honor killing. Khalida became an activist to empower women within their tribal community. Although this was a short book, I am glad I read it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aneeza

    Powerful and thought-provoking, Khalida Brohi tells the story of honor in tribal Pakistan and what it means for the lives of women. Although the narrative was choppy and hurried at times I still loved every bit of it. The last chapter literally gave me chills. Khalida took hold of her fate and managed to change not only her own life but also of all those around her. She should be known the same way Malala is, even more so.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sherie Lundmark

    This book opened my eyes to Pakistani culture. Richly steeped in tradition and honor, A culture also in many families repressive and abusive to women.. It was very refreshing and inspiring to hear the path taken by Khalida, and the support and love from her family that is still at work today trying to improve the lives of Pakistani women.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Novels And Nonfiction

    https://novelsandnonfiction.com/2018/... What I Liked Learning more about the treatment of women in Pakistan. As I mentioned in the intro, I’ve been trying to educate myself about the treatment of women in those Middle Eastern countries where they are discriminated against (and neighboring countries in the region as well). I had already read Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala about her near-fatal experience fighting for her right to be educated in Pakistan. Brohi’s memoir gave me a different le https://novelsandnonfiction.com/2018/... What I Liked Learning more about the treatment of women in Pakistan. As I mentioned in the intro, I’ve been trying to educate myself about the treatment of women in those Middle Eastern countries where they are discriminated against (and neighboring countries in the region as well). I had already read Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala about her near-fatal experience fighting for her right to be educated in Pakistan. Brohi’s memoir gave me a different lens on many of the same ways in which women struggle to have any independence in Pakistan. Her efforts were less focused on education and more on saving women from arranged marriages as child brides, empowering them by helping them gain an income, and trying to stop them being murdered senselessly in honor killings. Subverting concept of honor. Brohi’s memoir is focused in particular on the concept of honor within her culture, and the way in which it’s bastardized through faulty reasoning that leads to the subjugation of women. Brohi wants to subvert this concept of honor from being the yoke through which women are forced to obey their families at all cost, made to hide themselves away and even be killed, back into what honor truly means. To Brohi, demonstrating honor should mean protecting your family members from harm, allowing them to follow their hearts, enabling them to fulfill their talents and aspirations and respecting them as individuals. Brohi’s personal story. In her memoir, Brohi gets very personal about her journey to independence and the struggles her family have faced. She was propelled into her career as an activist by finding out that one of her own cousins has become the victim of an honor killing. Brohi’s path to activism causes her to clash with her own family, to cross oceans in order to advocate for women’s rights, and even to find love in an unexpected way. I found it particularly interesting to read about the strong tension even Brohi experiences between her desire for independence and her familial duty. Brohi’s own father – who spurred her to pursue an education – is ambivalent in helping her when she starts to show more agency in her activism. What I Didn't Like More information on her activism. The personal focus of the memoir sometimes didn’t leave enough room to delve deeper into Brohi’s work as an activist. The reader gets broad stroke descriptions of the organization’s she’s set up in Pakistan to help women earn their own income, and through it, gain independence and respect. I really would have liked to learn more about Brohi’s organizational and practical struggle in setting up these non-profits, however. It’s clear that it must have been a nearly superhuman challenge, and I think Brohi almost sells herself short in her accomplishments by presenting it essentially as a fait accompli in her memoir. Final Verdict At its heart, this memoir is a personal story of succeeding against the odds, but it will also inform you on the discrimination experienced by women in Pakistan and inspire you to consider the true meaning of honor.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Armstrong

    This was an easier and faster read than I expected, given the gravity of the topic - honor killings. Khalida's story is impressive - she has done amazing things for someone so young. It provides prospective on how difficult it can be to change a culture- where do you start, how do you avoid criticizing long-held beliefs and the people who still hold them? I enjoyed this and took away some important lessons on cultural identity and tribal customs. This was an easier and faster read than I expected, given the gravity of the topic - honor killings. Khalida's story is impressive - she has done amazing things for someone so young. It provides prospective on how difficult it can be to change a culture- where do you start, how do you avoid criticizing long-held beliefs and the people who still hold them? I enjoyed this and took away some important lessons on cultural identity and tribal customs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marika

    Author Khalida Brohi is on a mission, a dangerous one. She was born in Pakistan to a tribal family who observes tribal customs, but she was blessed to have a father who defied those very customs. She was taught to read, and had a loving father who told her that she should have honor. While SHE had honor, she was appalled by honor killings and it is her life's mission to teach others that the old ways are not the best ways. For readers who were inspired by Malala Yousafzai and her book, 'I Am Mal Author Khalida Brohi is on a mission, a dangerous one. She was born in Pakistan to a tribal family who observes tribal customs, but she was blessed to have a father who defied those very customs. She was taught to read, and had a loving father who told her that she should have honor. While SHE had honor, she was appalled by honor killings and it is her life's mission to teach others that the old ways are not the best ways. For readers who were inspired by Malala Yousafzai and her book, 'I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.' I read an advanced copy and was not compensated

  22. 4 out of 5

    Noorilhuda

    I hope a movie gets made on this book. Memorable Quotes: Daughters are a blessing from God, but they are a tough gift to cherish. Everyone wants a piece of them. Always. Don't cry. Strategize. Then the teacher turned around. Blood splattered all over his shirt. The terror of the scene he had witnessed less than hour before became real to him. The girl murdered on the road was the teacher's niece, and that morning he had killed her, as well as the man who had been lying in the road, in the name of h I hope a movie gets made on this book. Memorable Quotes: Daughters are a blessing from God, but they are a tough gift to cherish. Everyone wants a piece of them. Always. Don't cry. Strategize. Then the teacher turned around. Blood splattered all over his shirt. The terror of the scene he had witnessed less than hour before became real to him. The girl murdered on the road was the teacher's niece, and that morning he had killed her, as well as the man who had been lying in the road, in the name of honor. Then he had walked to school to educate boys, as on any normal day at work.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Istenes

    This is a great book in desparate need of a decent editor. It brings together a few of my favorite things: activism, the Persian world, and feminism. It’s a great story composed of lots of little great stories. But it was not edited like it needs to be edited. I don’t know who’s fault it was. A cocky author? A lazy or incompetent editor? Publishers just trying to sell a book by its cover, with no regard for quality? In any case, this is a book that deserves much better editing than it got.

  24. 4 out of 5

    RaeAnna Rekemeyer

    As a little girl, her father wanted her to be a doctor, but she grew up to heal what doctor’s cannot: a healer of souls. A tragedy that began in love lead Khalida Brohi down a road that would help her change her family, change her country, change the world, and bring her love. Read my full review at: https://onthebl.org/2018/09/07/i-shou... As a little girl, her father wanted her to be a doctor, but she grew up to heal what doctor’s cannot: a healer of souls. A tragedy that began in love lead Khalida Brohi down a road that would help her change her family, change her country, change the world, and bring her love. Read my full review at: https://onthebl.org/2018/09/07/i-shou...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aly Olson-Turek

    This book reminded me a lot of I Am Malala, which I enjoyed more. The most poignant parts of the book are when Brohi examines how honor killings were rationalized by people in her community, but I wanted more of how different people internalized these experiences and comparisons to how every culture does this with certain behaviors.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie Giehl

    Brohi writes that those who sit far apart do not understand each other. Her book gives you a seat next to her and it’s a worthwhile read. As an activist fighting to end honor killings in Pakistan, she shares a personal story about how education gives her and her family a chance at a different life. Easy read and well worth the time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Inspiring!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sajith Kumar

    Man really needs something to live for. His existence is made worthwhile by the ideals he cherishes. If he happens to be situated with good financial support, such existential issues may not bother him. But in extremely poor societies, where each day’s business of living is so tough, the people really need something to justify their miserable lives. They turn towards honour as the reason for the pride they feel about themselves. In traditional societies, women's honour – translated in local term Man really needs something to live for. His existence is made worthwhile by the ideals he cherishes. If he happens to be situated with good financial support, such existential issues may not bother him. But in extremely poor societies, where each day’s business of living is so tough, the people really need something to justify their miserable lives. They turn towards honour as the reason for the pride they feel about themselves. In traditional societies, women's honour – translated in local terms as their strict sexual discretion – characterizes the honour of the family, clan and tribe. In extremely poor and superstitious tribal societies of Pakistan, a woman's sexual escapades are treated very seriously. If she falls for the charms of another man, or simply be in love with a person from another tribe, the tribe’s honour is deemed to be lost. Containment of the women within the house and purdah are enforced invariably, but still misdemeanours occur all the time. The tribal or family elders prescribe a punishment of death on the unfortunate woman who is sometimes executed by her own close relatives. Such honour killings are observed mainly in South Asia and particularly rampant in Pakistan where the country's religiously flavoured criminal laws in fact encourage this heinous crime. This book is the story of a young Pakistani woman who engaged the establishment and its tribal society in her quest for ensuring a respected status and empowerment of women. Khalida Brohi is an award winning activist and entrepreneur. Her non-profit organisation, Sughar, unleashes leadership skills and economic power in tribal women in Pakistan. She has served on the board of directors of the International Youth Foundation. She and her American husband split their time between the US and Pakistan. Life is especially hard in poor societies. Most children are given only the first two years for infancy, then three years to learn to be a responsible. Around the age of 7 or 8 children get busy helping their parents with daily chores and taking care of other younger siblings. Boys even earn income for the family. Taking on adult responsibilities so early on in their life makes the majority of the children look like adults. Rudiments of educational facilities are available even in Pakistan's remote tribal habitats, but the tribe usually do not send their boys to them. Education for girls is simply unheard of. The author's family migrated from their native Balochistan to urban Sindh to educate their girls. In tribal lands, those children who are not fit for any productive labour for the family are sent to school apparently to get rid of the trouble they make while at home. Brohi stresses on the importance of education as the key to unlock and enjoy a new world. In Pakistan, it can also mean a choice between life and death. As noted earlier, tribal people values honour the most, greater than life. The author quotes a local saying: ‘Izzat mare, pen mare te maf’ (even if I have nothing, I should have honour). The book’s title is derived from its latter half. Since tribal honour rests solely on the shoulders of women, girls are married off during childhood – the earlier the better. The author was promised in marriage even before she was born, but her educated father resisted peer pressure to give her a fulfilling education. Brohi points out widespread modern conservatism in the country’s cities. Balochistan may be poor and tribal, but it allows its women to go outside and work along with the men while going out to the street in front of one's house requires seeking permission in Karachi. Honour killings go on without let or hindrance because of the overhauling General Zia ul-Haq effected in 1977 to make Pakistan an Islamic state. He enforced a new set of ordinances that claimed to Islamize the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. Among these Hudud ordinances, qisas (retaliation) and diyat (compensation) were later used the most to justify honour killings. Under qisas and diyat, a killer could be forgiven if the family of the victim forgave him. This condition is automatically satisfied when the victim and the killer belong to the same family. In a case of zina (extramarital sex), a woman who was raped had to bring four male witnesses to prove she had been raped. Otherwise, she would be punished in the name of honour (p.96). The purpose of honour killings is to destroy not just the body but also the soul, so that by forgetting her, the family can hope to restore the dignity they have lost because of her. Often after a girl is murdered, her belongings are buried or burnt; friends and family are not to speak of her ever again; her name is never mentioned aloud. It is supposed to be as if she never lived (p.63). Brohi’s cousin was murdered by her uncle for falling in love and eloping with a local boy. He strangled her by the side of a freshly dug grave in her full view. About thousand women are killed each year in Pakistan in the name of honour and these are just the reported cases. Brohi’s father played a crucial role in making her what she is today. He gave her full freedom to express herself and raise her voice against atrocities committed against women in the name of honour. But when religious extremists turned against her and exploded a bomb to blow up her office, he restrained her freedom. Brohi resented this and sought asylum in the US. She appears to be a lucky girl whom everyone she came into contact with adored. Her American lover voluntarily abandoned Christianity and embraced Islam so as to make the match acceptable to her family. Khalida Brohi began her career by writing poems against the murder of women and recited them in NGO conferences organised by her father. Realising the futility of taking on injustices head on, she later changed the strategy to co-opt the tribal leaders in facilitating to provide a space for their women. Gradually, more men started seeing their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters not as secret objects to be hidden away, but as valuable human beings who could make important contributions. She realised the empowerment of women by finding them jobs and making them earners of income for their families. Traditional embroidery was adapted to a commercial scale and the produce of the women were sold through malls in cities. Even though tribal life has its drawbacks, the support systems it provides for its needy members is plainly visible for all to see. In case of sickness or death of a person, the family takes over the role of the caregiver without anyone formally requesting them to do that. Brohi maintains her roots to Baloch culture by frequent visits to her ancestral village. The book is neatly written so as to be an encouragement to other aspiring young women who hold the destiny of their own and their nations in their tiny hands. The book is recommended

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chaahat Jain

    I should have Honor represents thousands of Pakistani tribal women who have been victim of Honor Killing. This book tells you how Khalida Brohi stoop up for women’s right while she was just a teenager and how she went up to save so many lives and brought a change in the tribal communities. She provided a new life to thousands of these women’s by giving them work and making sure they earn some money so they are respected by their male family members. Khalida’s whole journey is so inspiring, the h I should have Honor represents thousands of Pakistani tribal women who have been victim of Honor Killing. This book tells you how Khalida Brohi stoop up for women’s right while she was just a teenager and how she went up to save so many lives and brought a change in the tribal communities. She provided a new life to thousands of these women’s by giving them work and making sure they earn some money so they are respected by their male family members. Khalida’s whole journey is so inspiring, the hard work she has put behind bringing a change in people’s mind set is so great. Changing societies mind set when it comes to patriarchy and conventional norms is always hard and to do it in rural tribal areas is even harder but Khalida Brohi has somehow managed to do that. This book will take you on a journey of all those women who have been killed by their own family in the name of Honor for as little as talking to a man outside their family or has been beaten to death by their husbands for appearing unladylike.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    When she was a girl, Khalida Brohi lost her beloved cousin Khadija to an "honor killing"; three men in their extended family killed the fourteen-year old for dishonoring the family by falling in love and running away from home. Following tradition, after Khadija's death the family acted as if she had never existed. Grieving her cousin and deeply distressed by this brutal act, Khalida eventually turned her anger to a purpose: creating a powerful movement for women in Pakistan with the goal of end When she was a girl, Khalida Brohi lost her beloved cousin Khadija to an "honor killing"; three men in their extended family killed the fourteen-year old for dishonoring the family by falling in love and running away from home. Following tradition, after Khadija's death the family acted as if she had never existed. Grieving her cousin and deeply distressed by this brutal act, Khalida eventually turned her anger to a purpose: creating a powerful movement for women in Pakistan with the goal of ending honor killings. In this memoir, she is candid about the false starts, resistance, and personal peril that she has experienced with her activism. I Should Have Honor is an excellent choice for anyone with an interest in human and women's rights (especially forced marriages between children), Pakistan, education, and how to change a community from within.

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