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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