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He Never Deserved Me

The Freedom to Love is Paramount in Ariana Mansour’s ‘He Never Deserved Me’

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For most American women, we cannot conceive of marrying a man we don’t love, much less marrying a man our parents and community chooses for us. Not to say that this doesn’t happen in some regions and/or faiths, or that it wasn’t a more common phenomenon in another time and place, but since the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and the mainstreaming of modern feminism, American women have been fighting for respect; not just respect of our persons, but of our needs, desires, passions and our choices. We won’t always make the right choices as life is overwrought with bad mistakes that began with the purest of intentions. But, we should be allowed to make those mistakes in a…

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Second Chance at Love: How a New Man Turned a Writer’s Nightmare into A Dream Come True

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My whole life I dreamed of what it would feel like to fall in love. Listening to love songs and watching romantic movies as a teenager, I was excited to find my own love story. But the realities of my society slammed hard in my face. I was told that I had to chose someone that would be able to support me properly, someone who was from the same social class as me (or higher), and someone I could get along with. Whether we were in love or not, was immaterial. Over the years, I would look at people on the streets: I saw happy couples holding hands, hugging each other or even giving each other a peck on the…

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Arranged Marriage Gone Wrong: Not A Love Story

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When we were writing the book, the subject came up of how I ended up marrying my husband. My best friend kept on saying that it was an arranged marriage and I would explain to her that it wasn’t. Then finally, she asked me, “Why don’t you be the judge of that?” In my society, it was understood and never questioned by anyone that a potential husband should be from a specific social class, the same as mine or higher and of the same ethnic group as me. He had to be older than me because that meant he was financially settled and had the capabilities to support me in the way I was accustomed to or at an even higher…

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‘He Never Deserved Me’: Marrying for Culture, Not Love is a Recipe for Disaster

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Sometimes, things are not exactly what they seem to be. When we were writing He Never Deserved Me, the subject came up of how I ended up marrying my husband. My best friend kept on saying that it was an arranged marriage and I would explain to her that it wasn’t. Why don’t you be the judge of that? In my society, it was understood and never questioned by anyone that a potential husband should be from a specific social class, the same as mine or higher and of the same ethnic group as me. He also had to be older than me because that meant he was financially settled and had the capabilities to support me in the way I…

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