Not So TIME-ly

So… one of my editors just brought to my attention this article on TIME magazine’s website about this girl in Arizona who was run over by her dad in a modern-day “American honor killing.” The site tells Noor Almeleki’s story–how she fought with her parents, how she refused to enter into an arranged marriage, how she wore jeans and was proficient at social networking.

In all, it’s a pretty interesting (albeit tragic) story. This poor woman was murdered in cold blood by her father because she was too American.

I once dated this guy Travis in high school. Not to be creepy or anything, but I actually still have his card in my wallet. I thought it was hilarious that some 17-year-old gave me his card when I asked for his number (yes, I was that ballsy girl who just went up to strangers and asked for their numbers), so I kept it.

We talked frequently. He was Ukrainian and had a strong relationship with his parents, and apparently his parents–who had never met me–hated me because I was American and they didn’t want their son dating some American.

I found it troubling for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was frustrated because I consider myself the kind of girl that gets along well with parents. I still call my ex-boyfriend’s mom on her birthday. But secondly (and my actual point), his parents were the ones that moved to America. I’m all for preserving cultural identity and what not, but you can’t really freak out when your son, who was raised in freaking California, decides to act like an American.

Tangent aside, Noor’s murder is more shocking to me, because I think that her father is somewhat to blame for her “American-ism.”

But anyway, last week, Noor’s father was convicted of murder in the second degree. Which, I suppose, is why TIME thought it somehow relevant to run a piece on it. Except that I’m guessing TIME took the idea of the story from Marie Claire.

In August of last year, Marie Claire ran a long-form piece on Noor. Editor-at-Large Abigail Pesta interviewed Noor’s friends and teachers and painted a one-of-a-kind picture of the double life that Noor led–one part American girl and one part subservient-yet-rebellious daughter.

Hold the two stories up next to each other and they have freakishly similar details, descriptions and structure. The TIME writer even interviewed the same expert. According to Pesta, there were more than 800 pages of information to sift through. I think it’s a little more than ironic that the two articles are so similar. And, notice how the TIME article is long-form as well, and has a professional photo? It’s almost as if it were commissioned as a main story and then pulled last minute (it’s only posted online).

Methinks someone realized the same coinkidink we did and pulled the story from the print publication.

I posted a comment at the bottom that read:

  • Interesting story, I gotta say. I’ve been following it for a while ever since I read the story last summer in Marie Claire. Only, MC was able to get a more in-depth analysis of the story–and of the “double life” that Noor led–because they made contact with Noor’s friends and teachers. The mag has gotten awards for the story and suddenly TIME decides to cover it more than a year after the fact.

    I’m glad that TIME brought more press attention to the case–which, admittedly was very underreported. But the content is so freakishly similar that I don’t know why they didn’t pull the story. I mean… they even talked to the same expert.

    Here’s the link to the original, award-winning story:”

I’m curious to see if they delete my comment 🙂

See, read, compare for yourself:


TIME, Feb 2011 (16 months after the fact)


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Hi, I'm Marian.
By day, I'm a PR maven with a nerdy affinity for research and branding. By night, I'm an explorer; I delve into books, food, design, and the murky waters of my own psyche, then share my musings here.





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