Women in Exile

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University of Virginia Press, 1994 - Social Science - 210 pages
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If, as has been said, exiles, refugees, and emigrants are the defining figures for the twentieth century, the thirteen women of Women in Exile give unforgettable life to the metaphor. Their stories offer a rare and special opportunity to witness the harrowing experience of flight and dislocation and to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit. "I am an exile, " writes Mahnaz Afkhami. "I have been in exile for fifteen years. I have been forced to stay out of my own country, Iran, because of my work for women's rights. I recognized no limits, ends, or framework in this work outside those set by women themselves in their capacity as independent human beings. The charges against me are 'corruption on earth' and 'warring with God.' Being charged in the Islamic Republic of Iran is being convicted. There is no defense or appeal, although I would not have known how to defend myself against such a grand accusation as warring with God anyway. There has not been a trial, not even in absentia, and no formal conviction. Nevertheless, my home in Tehran has been ransacked and confiscated, my books, pictures, and mementos taken, my passport invalidated, and my life threatened repeatedly." Attempting to come to terms with her own life in exile, Mahnaz Afkhami sought out and talked with twelve other women, from all parts of the globe, most now settled in the United States. With her, we meet Samnang of Cambodia, survivor of a bloody march to nowhere who now teaches preventive health practices; Azar, whose flight took her through the Iran-Turkish mountains on horseback, protected by no government, sought by two, who now manages a major publications program and two healthy children; Maria Teresa, beaten, raped, and tortured in El Salvador after the assassination of her husband, who now travels around the world on behalf of human rights; Ngoc-Ho, a doctor in Vietnam, whose small child did not survive a six-day flight by boat, who is now a leader in the Vietnamese community as wel
  

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Women in exile

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The women in this book are typical of waves of women refugees crossing borders every day, seeking to fulfill their lives in ways denied them at home. Though it is frightening to be without a home or ... Read full review

Contents

MAHNAZ AFKHAMI
1
HO NGOC TRAN
17
MARIA TERESA TULA
34
HALA DEEB JABBOUR
50
GE YANG
64
AZAR SALAMAT
78
ALICIA PARTNOY
100
SIMFUKWE
110
SIMA WALI
124
MARJORIE AGOSIN
140
In the Frame of My Life
150
SAMNANG
162
FATIMA AHMED IBRAHIM
191
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About the author (1994)

Mahnaz Afkhami is executive director of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute and executive director of the Foundation for Iranian Stuides.

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