A letter to my daughter lost to honor culture

What is life?

One is conceived by two people who could love each other. They could hate each other too, or one of them or both could have been forced to marriage… In my parents’ case, it was forced on both sides.  I was born out of two individuals who didn’t even like each other. Did they like me? One of them did I think, at least until I decided not to continue to live their kind of life or continue to follow their wrong and twisted idea of what a “family” is.

I was out at 18. I had lost everything, my childhood, my youth, my power to decide over my body, mind and soul… All I had left was what I have now, my ability to write and to lose myself in the world of books, movies, art and music. So many times tears of suffering have filled written pages, movie theater chairs and canvases. Art definitely helped me survive, but for what?

Many ask me: why don’t you ‘continue’ your life – get married to someone you love and have a child out of love? My answer is: why would I want to conceive a human being in a world full of injustice and hatred, a world I wanted to leave so many times? I will never forget my 12th birthday when I asked my mother if I would ever be as beautiful as she was and she answered: “No! You will always be ugly!” That night, I wrote the word ‘ugly’ a thousand times in my journal…

Why would I want to bring children to this world where a mother tells her daughter that she doesn’t love her? And why do we think that ‘the next’ generation will have a better life? My parents’ mistakes were forced on me and now the next generation follows the same path…

Life and death issues always come to my mind and tear me down: what is the purpose of living? Do we live for nothing? Do we die for something? I could be right or wrong, but it does not matter when I think of you… You, my daughter…

Your birthday was few days ago. Even if I know that I should have offered you a present, I want a gift from you: I urge you to break the evil cycle of injustice. Find your own way. Do not follow the masses on the highway of self-destruction. Then maybe, after so many years I spent in despair, there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, I would realize that it was worth it. If not, I ask again: what is life? What is life lived without you?

About Sandra El Khoury

Since I was 4, I have questioned the world around me. I knew from as early as that age that I didn't belong with my family. As soon as I could hold a pencil in my hand I started to write about honor culture and that pen is still there, ready to speak up about the injustice we women face in the Middle Eastern society. That pen will never rest.

, , , , , ,

4 Responses to A letter to my daughter lost to honor culture

  1. Khatib August 29, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Honor culture is an abomination. So many lost lives and suffering …
    I wish you all the best Sandra. Hang on!

    • Sandra September 2, 2016 at 5:04 am #

      Thank you so much Khatib

  2. Karina chehab August 30, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    Beautiful. Love it.

    • Sandra September 2, 2016 at 5:05 am #

      Thank you Karina

Leave a Reply