Faleh then admitted that his daughter Noor was the "small fire" he had to extinguish.

He was booked into Georgia's Clayton County Jail and waived extradition. On October 31, the Peoria detectives escorted him back to Arizona on a commercial airline.

At Faleh's initial appearance in Phoenix later that day, a judge set his bail at $5 million.


Noor Almaleki was a twenty-year-old college student who had dreams of becoming a fashion model.
Noor Almaleki was a twenty-year-old college student who had dreams of becoming a fashion model.
Accused murderer Faleh Almaleki in a police mugshot taken after his arrest last October.
Accused murderer Faleh Almaleki in a police mugshot taken after his arrest last October.

Doctors at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital pronounced Noor Almaleki clinically brain dead at 7 a.m. on November 2, 2009.

Her family decided to take her off of life support. Several of Noor's relatives — including her mother and brother — were by her bedside when her heart stopped beating at 11:54 a.m.

Police noted at Noor's autopsy that her eyes, so hauntingly beautiful in photographs, were swollen shut.

Days later in Arizona, a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Faleh on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

Noor's violent death struck a nerve worldwide, especially after a county prosecutor officially attached the phrase "honor killing" to it.

To some she would become a symbol of the ills said to infect Muslim culture, ills that would allow a father to slaughter a daughter with the blessing of at least some family members.

The sad case captured the attention of Rana Husseini, an expert on "honor killings." A reporter for the English-language Jordan Times and author of Murder in the Name of Honor, Husseini has written about dozens of such crimes in her homeland.

"I wish that poor girl had been able to stay safe, maybe in a shelter or something," Husseini says. "It's such a waste of a life."

In Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East, men who commit such killings often receive lax punishment — sometimes only getting sentenced to months, if that, behind bars.

Faleh Almaleki's fatal attack on his daughter fit the pattern of a typical "honor" crime in the Middle East. The differences are that Faleh used a vehicle instead of a knife or machete and that, if convicted, he will probably spend the rest of his life in prison. ( The county attorney's office is not seeking the death penalty.)

Someone created a Facebook page within a few days of Noor's death: R.I.P Noor Faleh Almaleki. Its home page asked that Noor and "all other victims of senseless honor killings rest in peace. And may God be the guardian of others in danger of sharing that fate. And may we all do something to end honor killings once and for all."

On the "wall" that is part of the page, more than 3,000 people have written about Noor, her tragic death and Muslim culture.

A typical entry, written by an eighteen-year-old girl from Maine, says, "I can tell she was a good girl, and when she finally realized she couldn't live her life under another person's decision, she left! I respect her so much for that.

"She is going to live her life in Heaven like she didn't get to live it here on Earth."

Another of those commenting was her brother Ali, who wrote, "What grabs the most attention from this situation is the fact that this is a Middle Eastern family.

"The media has drawn this image that Noor, RIP, was a saint and my dad was the Devil."

Ali said he wasn't "advocating" what his father did, but he insisted that the slaying was unplanned.

"You guys [in the media] be careful what you say," he wrote. "That's my father you're talking about. And my father is a loving man. He loved Noor. That may raise eyebrows, and you guys [may ask], 'Why would he do this if he loved her?'"

Ali's conclusion: "He lost his mind."

Referring to Noor, he wrote, "Nobody deserves this, and this never should have happened. And nobody will ever understand the kind of pain my family is enduring."


Noor Almaleki's life never was the same after she rebelled against her parents and their culture and left her arranged marriage.

She tried on and off over the final eighteen months of her life to live with her family, but it didn't work. Faleh and Seham considered her tainted, someone who had humiliated them by leaving the Iraqi husband her father had chosen for her.

Faleh had gotten wildly angry when, after Noor's return from Iraq, he found a seemingly innocent snapshot of her and a few male friends. In his mind, Noor shouldn't have been chummy with men other than her husband, to whom she remained legally married.

But Noor stood up for herself. She posted a free page on exploretalent.com, a website that showcases aspiring models, actors, musicians and dancers.

The photographs on Noor's page were not racy, just photos of a young woman with a uniquely beautiful face. Noor never paid the $30 monthly fee to find out whether anyone was interested in her "look" for possible modeling assignments.

Noor found work as a server at an Applebee's restaurant, where she made new friends. One of her coworkers, Nicole Ferugia, recalls that Noor quit after her father learned that she was employed at an establishment that serves liquor.

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