The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Story of Injustice in Iran

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Overview

Soraya M.’s husband, Ghorban-Ali, couldn’t afford to marry another woman. Rather than returning Soraya’s dowry, as custom required before taking a second wife, he plotted with four friends and a counterfeit mullah to dispose of her. Together, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her only crime was cooking for a friend’s widowed husband. Exhausted by a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Soraya said nothing, and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to death by stoning: a ...

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Overview

Soraya M.’s husband, Ghorban-Ali, couldn’t afford to marry another woman. Rather than returning Soraya’s dowry, as custom required before taking a second wife, he plotted with four friends and a counterfeit mullah to dispose of her. Together, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her only crime was cooking for a friend’s widowed husband. Exhausted by a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Soraya said nothing, and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to death by stoning: a punishment prohibited by Islam but widely practiced.

Day by day—sometimes minute by minute—Sahebjam deftly recounts these horrendous events, tracing Soraya’s life with searing immediacy, from her arranged marriage and the births of her children to her husband’s increasing cruelty and her horrifying execution, where, by tradition, her father, husband, and sons hurled the first stones. A stark look at the intersection between culture and justice, this is one woman’s story, but it stands for the stories of thousands of women who suffered—and continue to suffer—the same fate. It is a story that must be told.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559702706
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/12/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Freidoune Sahebjam, the son of a former Iranian ambassador, is a journalist who was sentenced to death in absentia for his undercover reporting criticizing the Iranian government. He lives in hiding in France.

Richard Seaver was a publisher, editor, and translator. He passed away in 2009.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    The Stoning of Soraya M

    This is the "life" women have to live in Muslim countries. Wake up Americia. These poor women are nothing more than property to the men.
    May God have mercy on them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a tale of corruption - the inconvenient wife

    There are few times I write reviews. This was a thought provoking story on many levels, and being from a Western culture, it is difficult to absorb how very different were the customs and circumstances surrounding Soraya's life. On one hand, I learned that contrary to popular belief, SOME female opinion in that culture is deeply regarded, such as that of Aunt Zahra, though she could do little to stop the final verdict, once the wheels were in motion.

    A tale of violence and corruption, what happened to Soraya was sad and wrong. However, it is equally wrong for one culture with no understanding of another to blame the culture for such incidents and try to "change things". The underlying plot of this horror takes place here in the West hourly whenever a person plots to rid him/herself of a spouse by death because they'd rather not pay for a divorce. In Soraya's case, her crooked husband also used crooked political leaders and crooks disguised as religious leaders to back him in his efforts. Lucky for him, he was smart enough to also find a religious clause to help him in setting his wife up for death in the name of God. Killing in the name of religion isn't new and isn't limited to Islam; Islam is just the new kid on the block. After all the KKK promoted white supremacy and killed in the name of Christianity, and lest we forget the Crusades?

    I hope the leaders of Soraya's culture, religion, whatever it may be, work to overcome the misuse of politics and religion by men in their society. In addition, may they work harder to keep corrupt people from posing as religious officials as had happened here.

    I would have liked to have understood more about why Soraya was so silent in her plight. Perhaps it was battered wife syndrome from being beaten by her husband and eldest sons frequently. I would have liked to have understood why she didn't pursue more against them; obviously her Aunt Zahra had a lot of influence and might could have helped her. Furthermore, I would like to have known more about what happened after her death and if any punishment was ever given to her crooked husband and the demonic religious imposter of Kupayeh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 24, 2009

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