PRINCESS describes the life of Princess Sultana Al Sa’ud, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia. Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband and her country.
A New York Times bestseller, PRINCESS was named one of the 500 Great Books by Women since 1300. It was also an Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club and a Reader’s Digest Selection.
“Absolutely riveting and profoundly sad…” –People
“A chilling story…a vivid account of an air-conditioned nightmare…” –Entertainment Weekly
“Must-reading for anyone interested in human rights.” –USA Today
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 story—and theirs—to the world.
Love in a Torn Land: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter’s Escape from Iraqi Vengeance
(Available in hardcover)
Joanna Al-Askari Hussain, a Kurdish woman living in Iraq, tells the broader story of ethnic tensions between the Kurds, Iraqis, Turks, Iranians, and Syrians. Written in the first person, Joanna’s story covers her romance with a Kurdish freedom fighter, marriage, and taking up the struggle against the Iraqis herself. She recalls times of raining dead and injured birds after a missile attack and of a desperate flight after her village was attacked by Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1987. Some 200,000 of her fellow Kurds were killed in a genocide campaign. Photographs and personal recollections–a wedding without the groom, a husband who hogs the covers, the adjustments of a pampered woman to a life of privation and personal demands–offer a very human look at the struggle of the Kurds in Iraq and one woman’s heroism.
In 1974, at the age of 15, Najwa married her first cousin, 17-year-old Osama bin Laden. She had grown up in a conservative Muslim household; he was one of the wealthy, powerful bin Ladens. She recalls a young husband drawn away on business and her life of seclusion and duty, giving birth to seven sons and four daughters, accepting other wives and children into the family and its itinerant homes. Omar, the fourth child of Osama and Najwa, recalls a severely strict father: no toys, no ventilators for boys who suffered from asthma, hikes in the desert with no water. Omar remembers accompanying his father to a training camp at 15 and their later confrontations—and eventual break—as he began to understand his father’s involvement in al-Qaeda. He also recalls conflicting emotions, including love and pride in his father and eventually shame for his father’s renown as a terrorist and architect of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. A compelling look at the intimate family life of a notorious man, as told by his wife and son.
As a little girl in Afghanistan, Maryam fought for equality and defied the second-class standing of women by pretending to be a boy. When her feisty spirit nearly cost her life, after a public act of rebellion against the invasion of Russia, Maryam is forced to flee to America. But her fresh start at life is short-lived as her arranged marriage to a violent Afghan leaves her with only one joy–the birth of her son. When she attempts to escape her brutal marriage, her husband steals their son away and takes him back to Afghanistan, a land torn by civil war and Taliban oppression. What follows is the stirring true story of one mother’s struggle for justice, as she fights to be reunited with her son.