Honor Crime in Sanaa Shalan’s Tale of Tales

Saif AL Deen Lutfi Ali AL Ghammaz, Ruzy Suliza Hashim, Amrah Binti Abdulmajid


Honor crime is a heinous global phenomenon occurring in several Arab and Islamic societies with varying magnitudes from one country to another. The growing number of honor crime cases, mostly in developing countries such as Jordan, demands serious academic investigation not only because the lives of the victims are at stake, but also because the phenomenon is still gravely overlooked and unaddressed due to socio-cultural norms branding it as a social taboo. Recently, there has been increasing interest among Arab and Jordanian writers in portraying honor killings against Jordanian women through their literary works (Fanous, 2018). Thus, in this paper, we shall examine the manifestations of honor crimes against women in the Jordanian context through a textual analysis of Tale of Tales by Sanaa Shalan, an author belonging to the Jordanian contemporary literary movement. Originally written in Arabic, this novella highlights the suffering of many Jordanian women due to honor crimes inflicted upon them by the poor and male-dominated society. Through an Islamic reading based on Quranic verses and Sunni Hadiths to read of Tale of Tales (2007), we shall examine Shalan’s depictions of honor crimes against women in the novella as an extremely engendered phenomenon resulting from male domination and power and gender inequity prevalent in the Jordanian society. This paper is premised based on two elements, namely: the misconception of honor and its association with the women’s body and its roots in Islam, as depicted in Tale of Tales through the novella’s female characters, notably the main protagonist.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v8i2.16849


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