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  • Fatim Hemraj

The Murder of Tina Isa: Teen Stabbed to Death by Parents in ‘Honor Killing’


Zein and Maria Isa met in Brazil in 1963. Since Zein was a Muslim and Maria was a Roman Catholic, her parents opposed their relationship. The couple married despite their wishes.

What Maria didn’t know at the time was that her new husband already had a wife — and three kids. Zein had married his cousin when he was a teenager but had left her, their children and his birth country of Palestine in the 1950s.


Zein and Maria had four daughters together, the youngest was Palestina (named after Palestine) who was born in Brazil in 1972. All four girls were raised as Muslims, as per Zein’s wishes.

In 1986, the Isa family emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, where they owned and operated a grocery store.


The Isa household was a strict one. The girls were permitted to work only at the family business, they were not allowed to date outside of the Muslim faith and they could not leave the home without permission.

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