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Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Heartbreaking...A MUST READ

Jean Sasoon has to be one of my favorite writers. She writes an unbelievable story of loss, frustration and courage. At moments I couldn't stop crying. Every woman in the US should read this book, it puts America into perspective and reminds you that people call this co...
Jean Sasoon has to be one of my favorite writers. She writes an unbelievable story of loss, frustration and courage. At moments I couldn't stop crying. Every woman in the US should read this book, it puts America into perspective and reminds you that people call this country 'Heaven' for a reason.

posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great Hussein Era Incite

This story is somewhat engaging as it places the reader in the shoes of a true daughter of Iraq. Mayada tells an excellent story of the horrors of the Saddam Hussein regime and the aftermath of his rule. While the book details torture methods that have been widely sha...
This story is somewhat engaging as it places the reader in the shoes of a true daughter of Iraq. Mayada tells an excellent story of the horrors of the Saddam Hussein regime and the aftermath of his rule. While the book details torture methods that have been widely shared it captures the human spirit of cooperative survival. Each of the Shadow Women relies on the others in order to survive the heinous nights of the Baladiyat prison but they find in Mayada a renewed sense of hope.
While, under normal circumstances, I would consider an account like this to be extremely inciteful, the reader must take with a grain of salt Mayada's connections in the former Iraqi regime. While she may have been able to escape the prison because of her connections, those Shadow Women that remained were forced to endure the horrors because they did not share Mayada's good fortunes. Good fortunes are extremely relative in this horrific account in the young lady's life.
I do respect Mayada's courage in talking about the trials and tribulations of even a priviledged person in Baladiyat. Her struggles no doubt, inspire many in their darkest depths to have cause for hope. It is because of the willingness of people like Mayada that we make the case for humanity to continue our efforts against the inhumane activities of ruthless tyrants.
All-in-all, Mayada is a good read for someone desiring a first-hand account for the experiences of individuals in the prison of Baladiyat and life under the Saddam Hussein regime.

posted by JayHay on January 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    Heartbreaking...A MUST READ

    Jean Sasoon has to be one of my favorite writers. She writes an unbelievable story of loss, frustration and courage. At moments I couldn't stop crying. Every woman in the US should read this book, it puts America into perspective and reminds you that people call this country 'Heaven' for a reason.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    OMG

    This is the most heart wrenching book I have ever read!. Mayada....Please find the shadow women..AND LET US KNOW!! Read this book and know what horrors exist. You wont be able to put down.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    This is a book once you start you have to finish

    I read this book and was completely taken by it. I have a VERY difficult time finishing a book - being a mom of 3 small children. I picked this book up and everything went on hold so I could finish it. Now that is getting lost in a book. :-) I absolutely LOVED it - A must READ. Mayada is also a perfect gift idea for a female icon in your life. Enjoy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2005

    WOW!!!

    I think this book is another example of how bad Saddam Hussein was during his rule. He constantly accused people[women] of crimes they never committed. And the women were subjected to horrible torture that was always bad but not enough to kill them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    Incredible

    this book is not about movie heros this book is about everyday real heros. it shows u that not all Arabs are bad, and not all Muslims are terrorists, that despite the corrupted and brutal governments, people are still good, people always dare to dream! it shows u also that how Human can be cruel and animal like. I had to put the book down and walk away take a deep breath n come back to continue reading hours later. if this book did not get to u then nothing will

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2004

    A MUST READ!

    Mayada, Daughter of Iraq is the tragic true-story of life under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Jean Sasson has painted the portrait of an amazing,strong,privilaged, and intelligent Iraqi woman and her struggle with false accusations of governmental betrayal.The intensity of the torture sessions leave you feeling nunb. Sasson's dynamic worldliness and intense passion shine in what is arguably her best work yet.Her ability to write from the heart of her subject is astounding and moving. The book was difficult to even read due to the unbelieveable violence and injustice. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to survive such an experience and tragically, many did not. However, one amazing woman, Mayada, did survive to tell their story. Mayada had direct contact with Saddam prior to her imprisonment and tells the truth of the man behind do much death, oppression, and injustice. Men and woman are raped, brutilized, and mentally abused. the secret police were not only murderers, but sadists. They violated not only the bodies of their victims but their minds as well. Woman were forced to listen to the screams of their children being tortured and some even witnessed their daughters being raped(some of these children were as young as three years old).Men were even raped for hours by multiple guards for praying. Rape is considered a deep dishonor in their country. Sasson's compassion and beautiful humanity reflect her true passion for justice. As I read this book I felt as if I was living their story. Sasson's insight and depth is inspiring. Her capabilities as a writer are endless and more importantly her value as an individual is unmatchable. Mayada helps us as Americans to truly understand the degree of oppression that was suffered by these people. As Americans we have the privilage of living ina country that loves and supports us. Not everyone has that privilage. This true-story means so much to me because it has inspired me to open my mind and to nemore understanding of others who are different than me. Mayada is an immensely important book because it conveys reasons to support the war in Iraq in an objective manner that allows you to make your own decision and draw your own conclusions. Sasson's ability to capture the honesty, realness, and beauty of these people is uniquely her own. This riveting true-story is special because it instills a feeling of acceptance and tolerance.I truly love this book, for I was greatly affected by it. Jean Sasson reminds us all that genuine goodness and love of humanity may shine in even the darkest of situations. Regardless of what hard times we may go through, one should never lose their strengh of emotion and even more importantly their strength of will. In life, we must always possess the courage to give and the grace to receive.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2003

    Mayada, Daughter of Iraq

    Finally, a book written about a real Iraqi, telling us things we could never have known. I've read all Sasson's works, but this one is the best--and we need this knowledge at this time in history. If you are interested in hearing about Iraq from an Iraqi, then this is the book for you. Would make a good gift for all the soldiers in your life!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    Mayada, Daughter of Iraq

    I'm an opponent of George Bush's decision to send our troops into a foreign land and depose a dictator. After reading this book, I feel definite sympathy for the Iraqi people and know that terrible sacrifices from Americans have helped an entire nation of people. I will be a little quieter with my criticism from this point on. (On this one point only, of course.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Awe-Inspiring and Profoundly Moving!!!

    Another outstanding book once again by author Jean Sasson, who wrote the story of her close friend Mayada, in "Mayada-Daughter of Iraq". Sasson excellently described raw details of Mayada's horrifying experiences when she was imprisoned in Iraq's worst prison, after being falsely accused of printing pamphlets against the government in her print shop business. The portrayal of the "shadow women" inside the prison cell with Mayada, and their individual sufferings, tortures, and fears shows readers how other people in Iraq were also affected by Saddam's ruling. Sasson proved as usual her amazing writing talents and her sharp ability to spark in readers powerful emotions, awareness, understanding, and compassion for those who suffered under Saddam's reign of terror. I recommend all readers to read this book and all others of Jean Sasson and disregard the ignorant reviewers who are against the truth being exposed!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Good read

    This was the first book I've read about Iraqi women, it made me want to find more books of this sort. Its sad and inspirational, how she managed to get through a life like that is amazing. I read it years ago but it still sits in mind. I'd read it again if there weren't so many other stories that need to be read out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    "Mayada" is the fascinating true story of a woman from

    "Mayada" is the fascinating true story of a woman from a prominent Iraqi family that was thrown in prison during Saddam Hussein's brutal reign of terror. Mayada's story, as well as the stories of all of the shadow women will engulf the reader because ...(continue)
    "Mayada" is the fascinating true story of a woman from a prominent Iraqi family that was thrown in prison during Saddam Hussein's brutal reign of terror. Mayada's story, as well as the stories of all of the shadow women will engulf the reader because it is so fascinating and tragic.
    The author Jean Sasson is an expert on the subject of women's rights and the Middle East. Jean Sasson lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 10 years (later writing the Princess Trilogy, about a Saudi Princess that the author befriended during her time in the Kingdom).
    Most recently I have read Jean Sasson's newest book, "Yasmeena's Choice" which I highly recommend. Like, "Mayada" this is also a tragic and gripping tale. But it is so unique and a story that truly must be told. It is about a woman named Yasmeena that was taken prisoner during the Gulf War by the Iraqi military and held captive. Her story of war rape is one that will haunt the reader because it is so graphic, but one that must be reported. The book also includes a special chapter in it written exclusively by Mayada.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Excellent

    Unable to read the entire book and had to skip parts. The horrors that one human can impose on another are neyond disturbing a must read book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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