Posts Tagged ‘Jean Sasson’


“Mayada – Daughter of Iraq

One woman’s survival under Saddam Hussein”

This is apparently my first book review in spite of having read over 20 books since I developed this hobby, and found out how much I love reading books.

Mayada, written by Jean Sasson has come to me after I have read two of the Princess Series books by the same author; Princess and Daughters of Arabia (Yet to find Desert Royal in the rental stores where I am a regular customer now). 

Daughter of Iraq

Source: Google Images

Jean Sasson, the author of this book who has spent major part of her life in middle east had met Mayada Al-askari, Grand daughter of the father of Arab Nationalism Sati Al-husri, when she was seeking for a translator. They became good friends and kept in touch even after Jean Sasson left Iraq until one day, when she was no where in contact and had disappeared somewhere.

Mayada – Daughter of Iraq is a real story of a woman’s survival in Baladiyat Prison’s Cell 52 who was arrested on a false charge of printing leaflets against the Government of Saddam Hussein. The book is an account of her imprisonment, the feeling of being separated from her children where her children did not even know that her mother has been arrested, the fear of death, the torture, the screams, the shouts, the plight, and every thing that she experienced, saw, and lived during her tenure at Prison.

It also describes about the relationships her family shared with Saddam Hussein and other people at power in Iraq when she was young. It narrates about the great men in her family who are famous in the history of Arabia. It then describes about the stories of other brave and innocent Shadow-women in the cell 52, her friendship with Samara in the cell and about the torture, about the false charges, about the vague imprisonment which happened on mere suspicion and ruined everybody’s life. It narrates about the corruption where the prison wardens will harass family and take huge ransom for release or lowering the punishment and so on.

I would not recommend this book to people with weak heart as the story is too difficult to digest. I have seen tears rolling down the eyes of so many people who have read this book. Besides, I would recommend this book too as we all should know, what Mayada dared to bring forward to the world; the terror which every innocent Iraqi went through in 35 years of Ba’ath’s regime. These women should never be forgotten and we should always keep their memories alive, and to curb every atrocities happening anywhere around to the women, be it by a political maniac or someone in your neighbourhood.

In Broummana, Lebanon. Sati Al-Husri, his daughter, Salwa; and his two granddaughters Mayada and Abdiya. (Source: Google Images)

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