Mayada: Daughter of Iraq
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Focusing on the horror and torture in Saddam’s Iraq told by a woman who had been highly privileged during the Saddam Hussein regime and had met him too.
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Mayada: Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson
Mayada Al-Askari was born into a powerful Iraqi family. When Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath party seized power, Mayada little imagined the devastation that it would wreak upon her life. But soon she found herself alone in Baghdad, a divorced mother of two, earning a meagre living printing brochures – until the morning in 1999 when she was arrested by Saddam’s secret police and dragged to the notorious Baladiyat Prison, accused of producing anti-government propaganda.
There she was thrown into a cell already housing seventeen other ‘shadow women’. These women came from different backgrounds, but all shared the same fate: imprisonment and torture without trial, and the threat of execution. To block out the screams of other prisoners, like latter-day Scheherazades the shadow women told each other their stories. Mayada’s tales of her privileged former life were a source of particular fascination, including her own encounters with Saddam himself.
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‘An astonishing read’
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Publication date1st October 2004
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