Synopses & Reviews
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.
Sasson paints an intimate portrait of one woman's incredible life under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Once a privileged member of Iraqi society, Mayada's life shifted drastically when she was thrown into the notorious Baladiayat Prison.
A member of one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq, Mayada grew up surrounded by wealth and royalty. But when Saddam Hussein’s regime took power, she was thrown into cell 52 in the infamous Baladiyat prison with seventeen other nameless, faceless women from all walks of life. To ease their suffering, these “shadow women” passed each day by sharing their life stories. Now, through Jean Sasson, Mayada is finally able to tell her storyand theirsto the world.
About the Author
Jean Sasson is a writer and lecturer who has lived in Saudi Arabia and traveled extensively in the Middle East. She is the author of four internationally bestselling books on the Middle East, including The Rape of Kuwait, Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, Princess Sultana’s Daughters, and Princess Sultana’s Circle. Jean now lives in the deep South, although she still visits the Middle East frequently.
Table of Contents
A Note from the Author - Meeting Mayada
1. The Shadow Women of Cell 52
2. The Four Black Doors
3. Jido Sati
4. Saddam Hussein
5. Saddam's Wife, "The Lady" Sajida
6. Chemical Ali and the Veil
8. Dr. Fadil and Mayada's Family
9. The Chirping of the Qabaj
10. Dear Samara