Amina Said and her sister, Sarah Said (pronounced Saeed), were the focus of Forbidden: Dying For Love, a new crime documentary series that made its debut last night on Investigation Discovery (ID). Forbidden: Dying For Love examines cases of victims who were in a forbidden relationship that ended in death before they could make a life together. Amina Said was murdered in a taxi cab, along with her sister, Sarah, in Texas, after their Egyptian father, Yaser Said, shot them to death. Their story has been told many times, but few know of the love angle that ultimately led to the girls’ deaths for dating American boys and for not following their father’s strict, religious faith. Yaser Said is still on the run and is listed as a fugitive on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List.
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In the new series Forbidden: Dying For Love, the story was told by Amina and Sarah Said’s aunt and the mother of Amina’s boyfriend. They both told a compelling, heart-wreching story of how Amina and Joseph wanted the chance to love each other and live together without the danger of Amina Said’s father, Yaser.
By all accounts, Yaser Said was a tyrant; a dangerous father, who abused his girls physically, and some have said, sexually. Their tragic case was in the news in 2008, after authorities received a disturbing 9-1-1 call from a young female who screamed that she was dying. When officers arrived, they found 18-year-old Amina Said and 17-year-old Sarah Said with gunshot wounds to the body in the back of a taxi cab. Their father, who was driving the taxi cab, immediately fled the scene and hasn’t been seen since, according to Jihad Watch.
Investigation Discovery’s Forbidden: Dying For Love dramatized the love that Amina shared with Joseph Moreno, a boy she met in a martial arts class. Records show that she tried to keep the relationship a secret because she knew her father would forbid it. Her father, an Egyptian man, did not want his daughters having American boyfriends. In fact, he had already arranged for Amina to marry a 47-year-old Egyptian man.
Amina and Sarah Said’s own mother, Patricia Tissie Owens, also known as Patricia Said, married Yaser when she was just 15-years-old, and lived under a cloud of abuse and domination at his hands. Here is what Patricia stated in an interview with CNN.
“It was three or four times a week he would hit me or kick me or kick or — I know the things that would set him off and I would have to not do those things. Like if he was home, I wasn’t allowed to talk to my family on the phone unless he was there and it was on the speaker phone. As time went by, he would threaten me, like if I said anything to anybody that he would hurt them.”
Afraid to speak out or protect her girls, Patricia, refused them of the help they needed, in order to survive their father’s wrath. They almost got their chance at freedom, after Sarah and Amina, along with their mother, ran away to the home of a family member; the family member was happy to see them finally break away from Yaser. However, the peaceful visit didn’t last, and before long, Patricia insisted that they return home at Yaser’s request. Amina Said and her sister, Sarah, were absolutely devastated, and the whole ride home, they screamed and begged Patricia not to take them back home, according to Forbidden: Dying For Love’s account.
The Lewisville, Texas high school students did return home. Shortly after their arrival, Yaser convinced both girls to take a ride with him in the taxi cab to get something to eat. Instead, he pulled over on the side of the road and gunned them down while they watched in horror.
Many people who have researched the story say they hold Patricia Said directly responsible for delivering the girls to their killer. Forbidden: Dying For Love gives a compelling account of the sadness that Amina Said’s boyfriend, Joseph, and his mother felt in the days and months after they were murdered.
Forbidden: Dying For Love aired for the first time last night, and it will be repeated again on Investigation Discovery throughout the month. Check your local listings for those times. The latest episode to air will be next Friday at 9 p.m.
Very little information has been provided about the producers and writers of the show. But, out of all of Investigation Discovery’s documentaries, this one reaches the heart and tells a beautiful story of lovers who have been separated by death. Another documentary film titled, The Price of Honor, also tells their story in great detail. The murder of Amina Said and Sarah Said have been considered honor killings.
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