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Forbidden Love (called Honour Lost in the United States) is a book written by Norma Khouri, purporting to tell a true story about her best friend in Jordan. The story describes her friend Dalia's love for a Christian soldier, kept secret from her Muslim father due to conflict in religion. Her father eventually finds out and stabs Dalia to death in a so-called honor killing. A year after publication, it was discovered that Khouri had fabricated the tale and that the story was fictional.

Plot summary

The novel centers on the life of Dalia, a young Muslim woman living in Amman, Jordan. When she falls in love with Michael, a young Catholic major in the British Army, she is forced to keep the relationship a secret and rely on her friend Norma to act as an intermediary. Although the lovers are only able to be alone together on a handful of occasions and Dalia's virginity remains intact, her father is so enraged when he hears of the affair from her older brother that he kills her two months after her twenty-sixth birthday.

Hoax scandal

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Malcolm Knox uncovered Khouri as a fraud in 2004, a year after the book's release, exposing that she fabricated the story and sold it untruthfully as a memoir. She had lived in Chicago for most of her life and was married with two children. As a result, publisher Random House pulled the book off the shelves in Australia and England indefinitely. Knox won a Walkley Award for his efforts along with fellow Australian journalist Caroline Overington in 2004.

Forbidden Lie$

In September 2007, a documentary entitled Forbidden Lie$ was released. Director Anna Broinowski tells the story of how Khouri's book became a best-seller, and then follows Khouri to Jordan. Since Khouri still insists that the story is true, Broinowski gives her the opportunity to prove that it is fully or at least partly truthful; however, the evidence Broinowski uncovers indicates not only that Khouri's book is fiction but that Khouri had committed a number of scams even before the book.

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