Sunday, February 18, 2007
Norma Khouri's Come Back: Still a Fake
Norma Khouri is back!!
She was rewarded for lying and forgery by having a film made about her.
She conned the film makers too. They deserve it. But let's begin at the beginning.
Norma Khouri wrote a book called Honor Lost or Forbidden Love based on her life in Jordan. In it she tells the story of her friend Dalia, a Muslim Jordanian woman who fell in love with a Christian Jordanian man. As a result, her family murdered her and were threatening the life of Norma, who then fled Jordan to Greece then to the USA.
Khouri landed a top New York literary agent and got a lucrative contract. Her book was published in many languages and won an award in Australia. She got a huge advance to write a second book.
Some Jordanian women activists against honor killing in their country read the book and were troubled by it. They noticed that it contained many factual errors. Examples: the Jordan river flows in the middle of Amman, Kuwait borders Jordan, and certain buildings she mentions in the book are not where she says they are. In other words, the writer didn't seem to have been in Jordan. They alerted the publisher, but they were ignored.
Until an Australian journalist got suspicious. He spent 18 months investigating and come up with evidence to prove that the book is fiction, that Khouri is an Arab American who's been living in Chicago since she was 3, that the FBI was after her because she specialized in defrauding the elderly. She was married with kids. While living in Australia she pretended publicly that she had nothing to do with them to maintain her lie that she's an escapee Arab woman struggling alone.
After her exposure, Khouri disappeared from the news. Till yesterday. Now some idiots made a film about her--she managed to con them by promising that she will come up with evidence to support her Dalia story. She led and they followed on a wild goose chase in Jordan. The movie maker is still defending her by saying how smart she is (could it be you are idiots?), that she's a compulsive liar, and that Dalia is probably a composite story of two women that Khouri then pasted together. Khouri continues to maintain that Dalia exists. (To get a taste of her lying, read this Interview with her. I find it hilarious).
It is fascinating that even after she was exposed as a fraud, some people were still willing to be deceived by her. How do we explain this?
Could it be that the Norma Khouri story actually exposes lots of people as frauds? The New York elite publishing establishment, the top notch literary agent, the editors who think they already know all they need to know about oppressed Arab women so they don't bother read the crap that is handed to them, publishing houses all over the world who picked up the book, newspapers and reviewers ...
Those people are frauds because, like Khouri, they don't give a damn about ending "honor killing" or about Arab women. All they care about is making a buck and feeling morally superiour while they are at it. As the Jordanian activists said, Khouri and her publishers have set up the cause of eliminating honor killing years back, which is the sad part of this story.
To all those who were deceived by Khouri again, I dedicate the song below: "pretty liar"