An Honour Crime with a Difference

Pierre Cachia

in Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640867
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653300 | DOI:
An Honour Crime with a Difference

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This chapter focuses on narrative ballads whose core theme is the ‘honour crime’. It looks at three versions of the story of Hassan and Na'ima. It deals with a crime that took place in 1938 and it differs startlingly from the usual pattern in that it was the man who was killed and not the woman involved in the scandal. No less startling is the treatment by the folk artists, who for once do not glorify the gory deed but are sympathetic to the lovers — or at least to the male. The first of the three versions of ‘̣Hasan u Naīma’ is from a cheaply produced booklet. The second version is recorded on a cassette commercially produced by a firm called Nefertiti, and bought in Cairo in 1979. The third version is given by Šō̃gi l-̃Gināwi.

Keywords: narrative ballads; honour crime; ̣Hasan u Naīma; Šō̃gi l-̃Gināwi; Hassan and Na'ima

Chapter.  3315 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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