Nothing But Red: Du”a Khalil

11 Apr

During my daily blog hopping, I was stopped cold by a reminder that this month is the anniversary of the so-called honor killing of 17 year old Du’a Khalil. Just like a year ago, I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the horrible fate of this young girl, barely older than my own daughter.

“There but for the grace of…” keeps going through my head like an endless loop.

If we had been born in a different place, and within a different religion, it could be my daughter being stoned to death–for the unforgivable sin of being young, female, and in love.

If we had been born in a different place, and within a different set of social and religious mores, it could be my son who may have felt it necessary to avenge the family honor by taking his sister’s life.

There are all sort of horrors in the world.

There is also good in the world. Let’s work to make the latter stronger, wider, farther reaching.

From the Nothing but Red Press Room page:

NEW YORK (04/07/08) — Nothing But Red, the anthology of literary and visual arts inspired by the impassioned plea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon in response to the “honor killing” of 17-year-old Du’a Khalil Aswad, is now available for purchase. Sales of the anthology, which is currently available in multiple formats at www.lulu.com/nothingbutred, will benefit the international human rights organization Equality Now.

“I’ve met some amazing people who’ve worked incredibly hard to put this book together over the last year, whether as contributors or volunteers,” said Skyla Dawn Cameron, originator and editor-in-chief of Nothing But Red. “We can’t change Du’a’s fate – but we can let the world know that there are people who still care. That’s where this fight really happens: with each of us, challenging ourselves to do something to make the world better.”

The 313-page collection, which can be purchased as a trade paperback for $15.95 or as a pdf-format e-book for $5.95, is being released on the one-year anniversary of the death of Aswad. An Iraqi adherent of the Yazidi religion, Aswad was stoned to death by family members and neighbors; her brutal beating and murder was captured in a graphic video and spread on the Internet.

Shortly after learning of the murder, Joss Whedon, creator of the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, penned an emotional response on the website Whedonesque.com. His post, which built from the topic of Aswad’s murder to the contemplation of misogyny’s transcendence of culture, religion and era, ended on an appeal to his fans to do something active to change the cycle.

“True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself…” Whedon wrote. “Her face was nothing but red.”

Taking its title from those words, Nothing But Red is a response to Whedon’s call to action, which is included as an essay in the volume. A full list of contributors can be found at nothingbutred.wordpress.com.

Equality Now was chosen as the recipient of the anthology’s proceeds due to Whedon’s public support of the organization and its mission to “[voice] a worldwide call for justice and equality for women,” as stated on Equality Now’s website.

Visit lulu.com to get your copy.

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