I wouldn’t have started reading the excerpts of this book without someone strongly recommending it to me.  Usually whenever I heard of Iraq, Saddam Hussain’s face would come to my mind and I thought Iraqis were very cruel. But no, I was wrong. This book is about a lady called Mayada, who was from an upper class family in Iraq and who suffered under the Hussain’s regime. She was probably one of the luckiest to come out of the torturous prisons in 6 months, but the rest of her inmates (the ‘shadow women in Cell 52’ as she calls them were not.

Its tough for people like us to believe that such cruelties happen in societies.  There was this lady called Samara in the prison with Mayada who was believed to be a spy because she chose to change her surname. Her maternal grandfather was very fond of her and wanted her to carry his surname. Her parents agreed because they had other children and she was just one among the rest. She married someone of her choice and had 3 kids from the man. Later, he probably died in the Iraq-Iran war(or was prisoned by Iran and the family told that he was killed). She married the 2nd time and unfortunately her 2nd husband had a problem with she carrying her grandfather’s surname. She changed her surname in a lawful way but was still picked up by Saddam’s soldiers who thought she was a spy. Her husband was initially tortured brutally for no reason. When he was thrown back to her in the prisons, she had to spit in his face to bring him back to senses; as there was no water. Later the two were separated and she was individually tortured.. dunno if she survived or not!

I have still not read the hard copy and plan to buy it now, it gives you an insight of how cruel a human being could be to other. You will feel you are in heaven when you read the misery of these women. You can read the excerpts of the book at this URL: http://www.jeansasson.com/mayada_info.htm

I haven’t read Jean Sasson before but I understand that she specializes in writing about the lives of middle east women. Looking fwd to this read….