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- Confessions of a Serial Memoirist
I was previously married to a rebellious and independent person. She had her own perverse manners , looking down at marital rights. Our marriage would only last for eight years—with three separations—and she left behind two kids, a boy and a girl. When all became impossible between us, I sheltered myself in marriage, wedding to a person who knows about values and principles , has all the good manners, while respecting and sanctifying marriage.
She played the affectionate mum for my two kids. But my previous wife only knows resentment, vowed for revenge, as she has now finally seen her wishes come true—by making my daughter homeless—while having me in prison—throwing off four kids and their mother, which are suffering and needy. The strategy here is quite different, as the focus is on family values. The father ended up in his second marriage with a daughter who neither wants him nor his second wife, and is always running away.
At one level it simply implies that person A restricted the freedom of person B by imposing, for instance, physical prohibitions on the movements of B. At another level, it could go much deeper, as the prohibitions would have resulted in serious mental, psychological, or physical harm. Moreover, the offender could be charged for being mentally or psychologically unfit for taking care of children. The defendant was playing on the notion that kids are unruly and difficult by nature to contain: What happens when an adult is responsible for the safety of a kid who seems to take everything with a vengeance?
My daughter managed, however, to run away from home to the streets, only to come back. The police knew about our home, and every week they would visit us with the girl in hand. It happened so many times that I got into the habit of calling the police immediately whenever my girl was missing. Each day became like a nightmare. But nothing worked out. She had repeatedly run away from her mother , they have followed her and brought her back. But she kept running away.
Was I expected to leave my daughter in the street, so that she is picked up by barbarians who have no mercy towards their targets? What should I do to solve this problem? As a father I have got feelings and emotions, and I have got great responsibilities that need to be addressed on a daily basis. How should I then compensate between my daily duties and my present grim situation?
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I wished that my daughter would grow up fast , so that she would get married and live her life as she wishes in peace. But all of a sudden I find myself handcuffed with other criminals. What did I do besides attempting to place my daughter away from perversity and its dangers? I plea your respected wisdom, the symbol of right, justice, and law, to take my situation into consideration, and to agree for bailing me out, so that I can get back to my family and kids, who are in the worst of all conditions, and who need me more than I need freedom, and to rectify the damages that this situation has brought to my life and to that of my family, kids, and their mother.
No signature, but only a fingerprint. The trial, its aftermath, and incarceration, take their toll particularly on members of the middle class, who see all of a sudden their status and reputation crumbling. But then why were they appended to the dossier, and for what purpose exactly? Do they matter?
The question is further complicated in other ways: even if such texts matter, it would be only indirectly, as judges typically do not quote them in their verdicts, even if they took some of their contents at heart. Consider for instance how the letter to the attorney general is structured around the personalities of two women: one who is reckless and without moral principles first wife , while the other is affectionate and family oriented second wife.
Has celebrity feminism failed?
The past, however, would not have haunted him were it not for the two kids, in particular the daughter. Cherchez la femme is therefore the general motto that runs throughout the letter to the attorney general. He could have pleaded for insanity, or for poor social skills, or guilty for having locked his teenage daughter for a couple of years, with all the physical and psychological and sexual abuse she has been through, but he did not.
The daughter thus became uncontrollable like her mother, so there was no alternative but to lock her up—even the police recommended it. The reader may already have the right question in mind: considering that the girl found herself repeatedly in police custody, why was she—and her dad—not recommended for social rehabilitation? The general theme is therefore that of lost family values—and what the prison incarceration does is precisely more damage. It is as if the defendant is questioning incarceration for failing to provide the deterrent it claims, having already damaged the well being of an entire family.
Hallaq therefore implicitly questions the discourse of discipline and punish, on the basis that to get him right on track his family had to be wrecked apart. What is therefore at issue here is that broad power relation that the state engages into with its citizens, where both penitentiary and rehab institutions are evolving towards social control.
Yet, social control is impossible without that individualizing power relation with the subject: that same individual who is subjected to medical, legal, and moral discourses. But then something new emerges, which was not there in the first letter. Hallaq seems to be questioning the chief judge over the very notion of what is a criminal: I admit that I was abusive towards my daughter, but does that make me a criminal to be humiliated in a criminal court?
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By asking, Why am I a criminal? As the legal field itself has its own normative values, which it regulates through its own rules of law, why would it need endorsement from the medical field?
Confessions of a Serial Memoirist - The New York Times
On one hand, there are institutions of social control which come in parallel to what the family is supposed to do: the school, social work, counseling and rehabilitation, and psychiatric and social institutions. Those all constitute parallel spaces of control—in the same way that the prison itself is the quintessential space for control.
When the family fails, control is taken over by other institutions, usually public state institutions, and the latter may involve confinement of some sort: for instance, medical and psychiatric institutions would normally require individuals to be locked away for limited or unlimited periods. In the two letters the question that the defendant seems to be asking is, why me and not my daughter? The defendant is my brother, he has divorced his wife, the mother of the girl Sahar, roughly 12 years ago.
These Books Explain the Media Nightmare We Are Supposedly Living In
In the last two years her father tied her up and placed her in one of the rooms in his home. He tied her up for probably two months, then locked her in a room for two years until she ran away. He used to feed her either in the bathroom or toilet, because the rooms all give on balconies, and he was always afraid that she would run away. On many occasions the defendant asked me to go with him and look for his daughter, as she used to run away all the time.
I knew from the defendant that in order to avoid such pitfalls in the future he began locking her up in one of the rooms. I do not know for sure whether he tied her up or not. On one occasion the police came to my home and had Sahar with them.
Confessions of a Serial Memoirist
They have asked me whether I would be willing to receive her as a third person, but I could not, as it was 2 am after midnight. I went home to pray, then went back, and noticed that the bathroom door had burned out. I have heard from our neighbors that the defendant used to lock his daughter in one of the rooms, but cannot ascertain that he tied her up. The defendant Mahmud Hallaq is my dad. He had separated a long time ago from my mom and married Mayyadah Mayo who gave him several children. As an outcome of the poor treatment that I have received from my stepmother, she forced me to run away from home on several occasions.
My father used to beat me up a lot , and in the last three years he locked me up in the bathroom, with my feet tied. That lasted for several months until he untied me, leaving me locked in the bathroom for two years. I have run away on several occasions because of the poor treatment and beating I was subjected to.
One day when my dad was on travel, and my stepmother and her kids were visiting her parents, I managed to damage the bathroom door, creating a small hole in it, then went to the front door, opened it and crawled down the stairs. I then entered the lobby of a neighboring building, where some residents noticed me. As I had problems walking properly, I was taken to the Kindi hospital where I am at present. My mother never encouraged me to run away ; I leave the right for a personal lawsuit to my mother. In effect, the eerie consistency seems so much paranormal that one wonders whether it is the act of writing and the editing itself—not to mention the question and answer format—that produce that kind of perversity.
The downside of it all is that one feels there is very little experimentation in the process, which implies that the file from its very beginnings has already settled for a narrative that would later be adopted up to the final verdict. Even the father—daughter police depositions look oddly similar, and it is only the role of wife—stepmother that is reversed, from a faithful loving wife to an evil stepmother. Sahar used to always run away from home.
She had been arrested in prison on several occasions. Her father neither locked nor tied her up—and certainly not in the bathroom or toilet. She had run away from the front door which was not locked. I have no idea why she burned the bathroom door. Was she ever tied? Was she beaten up? The doctor gave the following statement in his interview with the prosecution:.
The day of the event, as I came to my clinic some acquaintances of mine contacted me and told me that there is a girl in their home that cannot walk, wishing that I come over to examine her. She looked extremely thin, with apparently lots of calcium on the edges of the bones, with an inflated stomach. She was unable to move normally, as she was incessantly crawling on the floor. I was told that her father had locked her in the bathroom for long periods, had her eat from the trash.
I decided to rush her to the Kindi hospital, where I came to realize that she had tuberculosis [ sill ] around the intestines as an outcome of malnutrition and humidity. We were able to open a portion of the stomach and take a sample for analysis. We then subjected her to physical therapy, giving her calcium for the bones, and her condition is at present improving, in particular when it comes to the bones structures.
Some time ago I heard from the inhabitants of our building that they had spotted a girl at the entrance in poor condition, with worn out clothes, unable to walk, and squatting on the floor. I went down to the lobby and met the girl.