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The last words from Sarah were “Oh my God, I’m dying.” Then the 911 emergency operator heard a barrage of gunshots. Sarah, 17, and her sister Amina, 18, were found shot 11 times in the back of their father’s taxi, abandoned in a hotel parking lot.
Their father Yaser Said has not been found since that New Year’s Day 7 years ago when he told his daughters to climb into his cab, he was taking them out to dinner.
The chilling documentary "The Price of Honor", recounts the lives of 2 American teenagers growing up in the Dallas, Texas, and their attempts to escape the grip of an Egyptian father who planned Muslim marriages.
Their deaths were honor killings, said Ruth Trotter. Amina was secretly dating Trotter's son, Joseph, and Sarah had a boyfriend too, facts they tried to hide from their father.
"Amina always knew that Yaser was going to murder her, it was just a question of when and where. She made Joseph promise that he would not harm himself, that when she dies he would live," Trotter said in an interview.
He beat the girls and took them to Egypt to find husbands when Amina was 15 and picked one man who was almost 50. She begged and pleaded with her mother to come back home, she said.
Its forms range from domestic violence for defying parental authority or behaving "too Westernized," to extreme sexual control including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and ultimately killings to protect the family's reputation in a conservative community.
The maternal grandmother recounts in the documentary how she alerted the police when the girls confided that their father was sexually touching them. But she said Amina and Sarah recanted, urged on by their American mother to keep daddy out of jail. Private investigators uncovered a video showing the father spying on his daughter as she worked in a convenience store and his anger when she smiled at a customer.
They uncovered cellphone records that showed Yaser Said making multiple calls to family members immediately before and after his daughters' deaths. Then he disappeared. Almost 7 years later Yaser Said remains at large.
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