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Jordan.. Chicago.. What's the Dif?

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 26, 2004 11:11PM

Norma Khouri - Photo: Sydney Morning HeraldPublishers of a best selling book about a Jordanian honor killing have pulled the book, questioning the story's authenticity. Norma Khouri's "Forbidden Love" (called "Honor Lost" in America) had been the subject of an 18-month investigation by Sydney Morning Herald that spanned 3 continents. The Australian publisher, Random House, said it has requested evidence from Khouri that the book is the true story of her life and experiences.

Khouri, who's book is the story of a woman stabbed to death in an honor killing because of her relationship with a Christian man, defended her book and rejected the paper's claims. Khouri says that she and the victim had a hairdressing salon in Amman, Jordan, and were best friends when they were in their 20s. Khouri says she fled Jordan after the murder, writing the story and making her way to Australia.

The problem? The Harold has cited legal documentation that proves that Khouri spent most of her life right here in Chicago.. so she could not possibly have been in Jordan at the time she says her story happened. The newspaper says Khouri only lived in Jordan until she was 3, that she has a US passport, and that she lived in Chicago from 1973 until 2000. The Harold also alleges that Khouri lied to her publishers, her agent, lawyers in several continents and the Australian Dept. of Immigration, who had granted her a temporary protection visa because of the troubled past she says she has suffered.

Forbidden Love has been published in at least 15 countries. It has sold more than 200,000 copies in Australia alone. A second book, A Matter Of Honour, said to be a sequel to Forbidden Love, is due out in November. We'll see if anyone buys it..