Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Sarah & Amina Said

Amina Said 18 and her sister Sarah 17, USA.

Young, teenage love seems an innocent part of growing-up in the United States, but for Amina and Sarah Said, having American,  high school sweethearts was deadly.

Sarah and Amina were model students, smart, athletic, beautiful, fun and ambitious. The girls were on the honor roll and planned to become doctors. These sisters’ bright smiles and attitudes fooled most teachers and peers, but closer friends saw right through their facade, noticing welts, bruises and fear. Amina once had imprints of her braces cut into her lips after her father, Yaser Said, kicked her. She was denied medical attention as it would likely lead to a child abuse investigation.Yaser was already known for his abusive tendencies. He beat his wife and kids and molested his daughters when they were little.

The girls were forbidden at an early age to have boyfriends. Yaser threatened them many times and planned to marry-off his daughters after high school graduation to suitors he picked from his home town in Egypt. Amina was awarded a scholarship to attend Texas A&M. When she asked her father when she would be able to attend college once married, he told her when/if her husband allowed.

Yasar was becoming more enraged by his daughters’ westernized ways, from their attitudes and aspirations to their tastes in clothing and music. When he found out Amina had a serious boyfriend during Christmas of 2007, he pulled a gun on the girls. When Yaser learned that Sarah had a boyfriend, too, tensions rose so high that Patricia Yaser, the girls’ mother, hid them away in another state with their boyfriends.

Yaser manipulated Patricia to lure his daughters back home. When Amina figured-out the ploy, she refused to meet with her father and stayed with friends. Sarah obeyed and promised to break-up with her boyfriend. On New Year’s Day, Amina agreed to meet her family for tea. Her father, a taxi driver, picked-up Sarah and Amina in his cab and pulled a gun on them. Amina died instantly after two gunshots shattered her spinal cord. Sarah, however, had a longer and more frightening death. She was shot nine times and attempted to make a 911 emergency call on her cell before Yaser finished her off. The sisters were found dead in the parked taxi at a hotel.

Yaser Said fled the country and is still at large, leaving a home torn by hate and two dead daughters whose lives were cut short by the blind rage of a dishonorable father. The ultimate betrayal of a parent against his own children.


Sweet is the voice of a sister in the season of sorrow.

~Benjamin Disraeli



Methal Dayem

Methal Dayem, 22, USA.

Methal Dayem, of Palestinian origin was shot four times on January 8th 1999.  Methal was 21 years old when she was left to die suffocating on her own blood.

The crime-scene was an isolated, snow-covered area of West 73rd Street in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Four months later, police arrested her cousins Yezen Dayem and Musa Saleh.

By then, investigators believed Methal was a victim of an honour killing, after learning that some in the family were upset with her increasing independence, working and driving, additionally Methal had backed out of an arranged marriage a year before.

Methal’s sister told police that the two cousins had started following Methal to school and to work, sometimes calling in between to check up on what she was doing.

The case went to trial, but prosecutors had no physical evidence linking either to the murder. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Thomas found the prosecution’s evidence placing Yezen Dayem at the murder scene convincing – specifically a security videotape showing his Honda CRV near the murder site that night and records showed Yezen Dayem’s cellular phone  was used to make a call from within 1 1/2 miles of the murder site about the same time. However reasonable doubt was raised by a pair of ski gloves found in Methal’s car DNA tests revealed that the gloves, which were covered with gunshot residue, didn’t match either Yezen Dayem or Musa Saleh.

The case remains unsolved.

Sandeela Kanwal

Sandeela Kanwal, 25, USA.

Sandeela traveled with her family to Pakistan for an arranged marriage. Her husband stayed in Pakistan, while the family returned to their home in Atlanta, Georgia. Months later, he moved to the US, and after a brief time with his wife in Atlanta, he moved to Chicago.  “She was very unhappy with the marriage, had not seen the husband in three months and was seeking a divorce,” said Timothy Owens, a spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department.

In July of 2008, Sandeela filed for divorce. When her father, Chaudhry Rashid, found out about his daughter’s intentions, it caused conflict within the family. After Sandeela got home from working a late shift at Wal-Mart on July 6th, Sandeela and Chaudhry got into an argument, and at 1:55, Sandeela’s stepmother made a 911 call. “I hear a lot of hollering and screaming,” she told the 911 dispatcher “And I just woke up and I asked my family what’s going on. They’re from Pakistan. They’re not speaking any English to me. They’re not telling me nothing. Sandeela’s dead. Sandeela’s dead.”

Police arrived on the scene to find Sandeela dead on her bedroom floor and Chaudhry sitting cross-legged in the driveway, smoking a cigarette. Chaudhry confessed he killed his daughter because “she wasn’t being true to her religion or to her husband.” Chaundry has been on trial for the honour killing, but there have been many delays on the case due to Miranda protection discrepancies and privacy issues with taped evidence. The rest of Sandeela’s family plans to plead the fifth and say nothing to convict Chaudhry.



There was misty dew on the leaves that morning,

That sparrow that sang of freedom was quiet.

A silence hung around the space

That was you.


Earth lost a beloved one.

One whose heart desired to be, but herself.

Just like the dew, the sparrow, the red Earth.

The silence.


May you have met that dawn,

Where the dew rise up in your name,

Where the sparrow sings mellifluous in your honor,

And oleanders bloom in your light.

The space, where you will be, forever free.