“Go stay with your cousin in Aqaba and don’t come back until we figure out what we will do. Her relatives will kill you if they found out what you did.” Um Jehad shouted at the end of a long intense argument with her son.
Jehad was a 19-year-old high school dropout. He sometimes works in the city loading and unloading vegetable trucks. Because of his negative attitudes and bad behaviors, he is forced to jump from one job to another. Between jobs he stays in the village doing nothing other than bullying the residents of the village.
Before he raped Jameeleh, he planned his crime carefully. He spied on her for a week. He figured out where she goes, what time she goes there and most important when she would be alone.
Jameeleh was not supposed to be in the barn that misfortune Thursday, her mother found her lying down on a haystack. El-Turk taught her not to enter his farm while he is not there fearing for her safety. She was playing with her doll somewhere else. But it wasn’t hard for Jehad to lure her into the barn. He snatched her doll and told her to follow him to take it back. Unfortunately, she did. He knew El-Turk will not be in his farm and that the farm would be the perfect place to commit his crime.
After Um Jameeleh bathed her daughter and put her to bed beside her doll, she went to her bedroom and started crying. She didn’t know how she managed to keep calm and quiet until this moment. She was sure no one in the village should know about this. It would be a disaster. This incident is going to ruin everybody’s life in this family. She wasn’t sure whether her husband’s absent was good or bad. What would he have done if he was here? She wondered. Between her crying and weeping periods questions would pop up in her mind. What her husband’s family will think of her and her daughter now? Will they blame me? Maybe they will kill Jameeleh. A sudden thought came up that she tried to ignore as much as she could. The fear on her daughter’s life and the fear of the shame that such incident would bring to the family was so intense that she cried herself to sleep.
But without being aware, Um Jameeleh’s cry was loud enough for her neighbor, Seham, to hear it; the one person who should have not heard her. If it is for another person they may ignore it but not Seham. Some people in the village nickname her El-Mukhabarat (the intelligence agency) because she knows everything that happens in the village. Nothing goes under her radar. Knowing Abu Jameeleh wasn’t home she wondered for the reason that made Um Jameeleh cries that loud. It was the longest night for her. She was so eager for the morning to come so she can go knock on Um Jameeleh’s door and satisfy her craving for a new gossip.