The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World



The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World The Arab Islamic World Is Known For Religious Extremism, Ethnic Conflicts, And, Now, The Overthrow Of Seemingly Unshakable Regimes But If Anything Has Become Clear, It S That Our Understanding Of The Region Remains Shrouded And Incomplete The Seeds Of Revolution, Radicalism, And Possibly Reform Are Buried In The Individual Stories Of Millions Of People Whose Lives Determine The Fates Of Their Societies, People Whose Motivations Are As Common, And As Strange, As Our OwnHere Is One Of Those Stories And The Story Of How This World Is Being Transformed, One Life At A Time Joseph Braude Is The First Western Journalist Ever To Secure Embed Status With An Arab Security Force, Assigned To A Hardened Unit Of Detectives In Casablanca Who Handle Everything From Busting Al Qaeda Cells To Solving Homicides One Day He S Given The File For A Seemingly Commonplace Murder A Young Guard At A Warehouse Killed In What Appears To Be A Robbery Gone Wrong Braude Is Intrigued By The Details Of The Case The Sheer Brutality Of The Murder, The Identities Of The Accused A Soldier And The Victim, A Shadowy Migrant With Links To A Radical Cleric, And The Odd Location A Warehouse Owned By A Wealthy Member Of One Of The Few Thriving Jewish Communities In The Arab World After Interviewing The Victim S Best Friend, Who Tearfully Insists That The True Story Of The Murder Has Been Covered Up By Powerful Interests, Braude Commits To Getting To The Bottom Of ItBraude S Risky Pursuit Of The Shocking Truth Behind The Murder Takes Him From Cosmopolitan Marrakesh To The Proud Berber Heartland, From The Homes Of The Wealthiest And Most Powerful People In The Country To The Backstreets Of Casablanca, Where Migrants Come To Make Fortunes, Jihad, And Trouble, But Often End Up Just Trying To Survive With Dignity The Honored Dead Is A Timely And Riveting Mystery About A Society In Transition, The Power Of The Truth, And The Irrepressible Human Need For Justice From The Hardcover Edition

10 thoughts on “The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World

  1. says:

    I m mixed about this book I love non fiction and what I d call literary true crime a book where a crime is placed in context TJ English does this really well, particularly in his new book, The Savage City This was also appealing because of the setting and the broader context of crime in the Arab world It does this admirably, but left me cold.There is a good explication of Arab culture and the rules of Moroccan societies, but it seems to float underneath larger andWestern judgment t I m mixed about this book I love non fiction and what I d call literary true crime a book where a crime is placed in context TJ English does this really well, particularly in his new book, The Savage City This was also appealing because of the setting and the broader context of crime in the Arab world It does this admirably, but left me cold.There is a good explication of Arab culture and the rules of Moroccan societies, but it seems to float underneath larger andWestern judgment that we all want justice, define justice in the same way, and seek it in the same ways that justice is one thing no matter what your cultural definitions or context I m uncomfortable with the easy ways it is possible to filter the actions, institutions, and values of another culture through the lens of the West without an acknowledgement or awareness of the bias that this represents We cannot come together nor come to understand each other without accepting that these concepts are deeply rooted in culture and history and that others values about these concepts are not necessarily right nor wrong just different they exist and have a right to do so By assuming that we all define the world in the same ways we arrogantly deny others the right to believe in ways that are different from our own and this denial is firmly rooted in outmoded imperialist thought.Good story well written, but I have problems with the telling and the perceived bias so it just didn t work well for me

  2. says:

    The Hon ored Dead A Story of Friend ship, Mur der, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World by Joseph Braude is a non fic tion book about the author s expe ri ence being embed ded with a Moroc can secu rity squad.Jour nal ist Joseph Braude has spent sev eral month embed ded in a Moroc can police precinct in Casablanca The city of Casablanca has many issues beside star crossed lovers run ning away from the Vichy rep re sen ta tives and Nazis drug car tels, al Qaeda cells as well as crimes The Hon ored Dead A Story of Friend ship, Mur der, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World by Joseph Braude is a non fic tion book about the author s expe ri ence being embed ded with a Moroc can secu rity squad.Jour nal ist Joseph Braude has spent sev eral month embed ded in a Moroc can police precinct in Casablanca The city of Casablanca has many issues beside star crossed lovers run ning away from the Vichy rep re sen ta tives and Nazis drug car tels, al Qaeda cells as well as crimes which plague any cities its size.Mr Braude goes on his own to inves ti gate a mur der of an unem ployed Mus lim Berber While inves ti gat ing the author goes on a wild ride into Moroc can Mus lim soci ety involv ing cover ups, duplic ity and fraud The Hon ored Dead A Story of Friend ship, Mur der, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World by Joseph Braude is a smart book which brings the reader into the inner most Arab soci ety Mr Braud, a jour nal ist, got an amaz ing level of access and cor po ra tion he got from the Moroc can government.Mr Braude writes in lyri cal prose and engag ing story More than sim ply telling a story, the book also teaches about Mid dle East pol i tics, Morocco s cul ture, rich Jew ish her itage, his tory, pol i tics and, to my great sur prise, the role magic plays in the society.While the book might be about solv ing a mys tery, it is muchthan that The insight into a for eign soci ety where the police not only enforce the law, but also tries to main tain a pre cious bal ance within the soci ety This bal ance could break eas ily with the sim ple pre sump tion of insult or intent to insult not only a per son, but a whole society.One of theintrigu ing aspects of the book is the def i n i tions which the Moroccan s live by For exam ple, there are cer tain lev els of killing which the police inves ti gates While they are focused on find ing the killer, that is not the most impor tant part of the inves ti ga tion but keep ing the peace is.Keep ing the peace means not to let the cit i zens have any rea son to start reli gious demon stra tions or cause upheaval in the rich com mu ni ties Because of that, some times the rea son for the killing is sim ply mis stated and news pa pers are not allowed to print any fac tual details about crimes for fear of ret ri bu tion, not only to the crim i nals but also to the witnesses.That whole aspect of the book really got me think ing We value truth above all else, but is it really the best pol icy In the case of the Moroc can police, cov er ing up the truth means pro tect ing many peo ple, some promi nent, some reli gious zealots but mostly ordi nary cit i zens Some of the sto ries in the book seems like they came out right of a wild west dime novel where the killer goes in front of a judge with the sim ple defense of he needed killin.The greater good, in this case keep ing the fab rics of soci ety untan gled and keep ing the honor of promi nent fam i lies and not so prominent peo ple some times seem to over shadow the plane truth what ever that might be.Dis claimer I got this book for free Forreviews and bookish thoughts please visit

  3. says:

    A unique and empathetic look into Moroccan life from the point of view of an American man with an Iraqi Jewish mother and

  4. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I read this book in early 2012 and completely forgot about it, having absolutely no idea that by the end of the year I would be packing up my things to go live in Morocco for two years Feeling homesick for Morocco in 2016 I found this book in a library search and thought Wait, I already read that didn t I It took place in Morocco All I remember is that the author was kind of annoying, the murder only partially gets solved and the sewing machine doesn t get used What a difference to re read I read this book in early 2012 and completely forgot about it, having absolutely no idea that by the end of the year I would be packing up my things to go live in Morocco for two years Feeling homesick for Morocco in 2016 I found this book in a library search and thought Wait, I already read that didn t I It took place in Morocco All I remember is that the author was kind of annoying, the murder only partially gets solved and the sewing machine doesn t get used What a difference to re read this book in 2016 when it all means so muchto me All of the above is still true but since I was reading the book this time as a reminder of Morocco instead of a true crime drama, I was looking for a different sense of satisfaction and I got it Although the title is about the Arab World this book does a good job of explaining that Morocco is really an Arab Berber culture, with many tensions between the Arabs and the Berbers The sights and sounds of Casablanca are present as is the Moroccan bureaucracy in all its glory True, Morocco is not Casablanca, but the author also name drops and or visits many other cities that I know well, from Rabat to El Jadida to Ksar el Kabir I am ashamed that at the time I read it I forgot it so quickly In my defense, I find that I enjoy armchair travel booksand remember them better when they transport me back to a place I already know, rather than to a place I have never been This is not a travelogue exactly, but for someone looking to read about the real Morocco, they could do worse

  5. says:

    The author shares a journey through some of the complexities of modern society in the Islamic world, in a well written, thought provoking, at times introspective, informative and entertaining book.I found the author to be a compellingly honest and unabashedly human, and it added a lot in my opinion He talks about himself, his failings, and his uncommon experiences that make him, I think, uniquely qualified to write this book He deals with the I guess I can call it an East vs West confrontatio The author shares a journey through some of the complexities of modern society in the Islamic world, in a well written, thought provoking, at times introspective, informative and entertaining book.I found the author to be a compellingly honest and unabashedly human, and it added a lot in my opinion He talks about himself, his failings, and his uncommon experiences that make him, I think, uniquely qualified to write this book He deals with the I guess I can call it an East vs West confrontation the modern vs traditional lifestyle and perspectives, rational vs superstitious and other worldly thinking, tolerance and pluralism vs intolerance and rigid dogmatic thinking, and the tribalism found in that part of the world He humanizes it and adds color and nuance, which I think makes it highly relevant to Westerners who may have no significant contact with that part of the world, and I think he does it quite well I find that while things may be, in some ways, radically different in my Western American society in general, I think that the book brought home the point that there s quite a bit of similarity as well

  6. says:

    This is a multi layered book that in many ways defies categorization Braude is an Iraqi Jewish American, Yale educated journalist embedded in a Casablanca police precinct at the time of a murder At the behest of the victim s best friend, he agrees to conduct his own investigation of the crime.Both Braude s personal history and the history of Morocco, and its Jewish community, are pivotal in this book While still a student, Braude used his knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, French and Near This is a multi layered book that in many ways defies categorization Braude is an Iraqi Jewish American, Yale educated journalist embedded in a Casablanca police precinct at the time of a murder At the behest of the victim s best friend, he agrees to conduct his own investigation of the crime.Both Braude s personal history and the history of Morocco, and its Jewish community, are pivotal in this book While still a student, Braude used his knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, French and Near East studies to help the FBI These same passions later found him on the opposite side of the table prior to becoming a journalist Braude lays out the exotic and gritty descriptions of Morocco and its history, bringing together the cultural and historical conflicts that eventually reveal the solution to the crime With different people and in different settings, Braude reveals or conceals his Judaism In many ways this book is as much a mystery as it is a personal redemption Certainly an unusual read

  7. says:

    This was an interesting and well written book about the author s time in Morocco as a journalist embedded with the police force in Casablanca I m acquainted with Joseph Braude, and this is the first time I ve read a book written by someone I know It provides some insight into him as a person, which I found very insightful I also see a bit of an imprint of another organization with which I m well acquainted in his approach to the problems he encounters and his description of the struggles Moro This was an interesting and well written book about the author s time in Morocco as a journalist embedded with the police force in Casablanca I m acquainted with Joseph Braude, and this is the first time I ve read a book written by someone I know It provides some insight into him as a person, which I found very insightful I also see a bit of an imprint of another organization with which I m well acquainted in his approach to the problems he encounters and his description of the struggles Morocco faces to establish the rule of law, which is an ongoing thread through the story of the search to find the truth about the murder of the friend of a man Joseph befriended in Morocco I was a bit uncomfortable with what was discovered about the death of his friend, not a subject matter I like to delve into, but the truth, as much as could be uncovered, was uncovered and spoken I recommend the book

  8. says:

    A journalist, Joseph Braude, learns of a murder and attempts to discover the reason behind the homicide However, Moroccan officials stop him at every turn Will he discover why an apparently innocent man died Personally, I had to constantly force myself to make my way through this book The Honored Dead constantly goes on random tangents While these tangents are informative, they drag the story to a screeching halt Further, the story is a bit unbelievable The protagonist bases his entire A journalist, Joseph Braude, learns of a murder and attempts to discover the reason behind the homicide However, Moroccan officials stop him at every turn Will he discover why an apparently innocent man died Personally, I had to constantly force myself to make my way through this book The Honored Dead constantly goes on random tangents While these tangents are informative, they drag the story to a screeching halt Further, the story is a bit unbelievable The protagonist bases his entire investigation off of a dream He gets a graduate student to analyze a dream that the victim had shortly before his death Let us just say that this is not exactly police protocol.Overall, this is not a book that I liked, but it did provide some insight to the Moroccan culture I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true crime or likes to read about far away cultures.I received this book via Goodread s First Reads Giveaways

  9. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here So far as I read THE HONORED DEAD, I learn the difficulties and the struggles of the Arab forces As Joseph Braude commits into knowing the whole truth of the crime that was brutally committed, I can t help but wonder what he seeks out to achieve Does he believe he will change the way the officer s deal with their crimes and murders Does he believe that he being there would make a significant change into how people see the Arab world I wanted to read this book to have a broader knowledge and So far as I read THE HONORED DEAD, I learn the difficulties and the struggles of the Arab forces As Joseph Braude commits into knowing the whole truth of the crime that was brutally committed, I can t help but wonder what he seeks out to achieve Does he believe he will change the way the officer s deal with their crimes and murders Does he believe that he being there would make a significant change into how people see the Arab world I wanted to read this book to have a broader knowledge and understanding of the Arab world, learning their cultural differences from mine Though this is different from what I expected, however I am interested in knowing the full plot and knowing the truth of the Arab world from someone s else s point of view, for he is somewhat of stranger to their world and it is easier for me to relate to a certain distinct

  10. says:

    When I received the book I had a different idea as to what to expect So far I have enjoyed the book I am fascinated by the stories it has It helps give a better look into the Arab world and their beliefs We see the differences in the way they determine justice and the way we go about dealing with it You have a better knowledge of how important the idea of peace is for people in those lands I am still reading the book and after looking at some of the other reviews it is clear hat the auth When I received the book I had a different idea as to what to expect So far I have enjoyed the book I am fascinated by the stories it has It helps give a better look into the Arab world and their beliefs We see the differences in the way they determine justice and the way we go about dealing with it You have a better knowledge of how important the idea of peace is for people in those lands I am still reading the book and after looking at some of the other reviews it is clear hat the author has done a great job in presenting this story We all feel like we can see what is taking place across seas

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