Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Mayada, Daughter Of Iraq

Thank you to my reader, Cyndi from Texas, for sending me the book of "Mayada, Daughter Of Iraq"by Jean P. Sasson. The book is a great reading from its first pages. The liner notes state:
  • Jean Sasson met Mayada Al-Askari on a trip to Baghdad in 1998. One year later, Jean learned that Mayada had been taken without the knowledge of her family from the tiny print shop that she owned, and imprisoned in the notorious Baladiyat Prison—headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s infamous secret police.

    Mayada’s story both past and present is truly incredible. Her family was one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq. One grandfather fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. The other was the first true Arab nationalist (admired greatly by Saddam Hussein). Her uncle was Prime Minister of Iraq for nearly forty years; her mother, an important government official.

    From personal meetings with Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali to raising two small children as a single mother, Mayada’s life was at once privileged, yet carefully balanced. But life can shift quickly in Iraq and Mayada finds herself thrown into a small cell with seventeen other women. The shadow women. The women rally around each other to share their unbelievable stories and in so doing gain the strength to survive. The names of the shadow women are scrawled in charcoal onto the cell wall in the hopes that one day one of them will make it out to tell others of their existence. This is Mayada’s courageous story, but also that of her sisters.

This story is one of many other untold stories. Some people, like Mayada, were lucky to survive. Others disappeared without a trace.

I would like to thank Cyndi and everyone, who sent money to Ma'rwa's Fund and helped with her medical treatment. I really appreciate it.

I believe in the star thrower theory. So, to everyone who helped put a smile on Ma'rwa's face, remember that you're a star thrower too.

Mayada, Daughter Of Iraq

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