Purple Dandelion: A Muslim Woman's Struggle Against Violence and Oppression

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Exisle Publishing, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
For many Muslim women, life is a continual struggle to realise their true potential and assert their right to a peaceful life. An unconventional child, Farida Sultana, struggled through her adulthood and married life, surviving violence and abuse. Her arranged marriage to a doctor at the age of 18 took her to worn-torn Iran with her husband and young daughter, then to the UK and finally to New Zealand. Soon after her arrival in New Zealand, Farida became aware that there were many more immigrant women like her who had to overcome domestic violence and the oppressive, patriarchal societies they lived in. Their need drove her to initiate Shakti, which set up the first immigrant women's refuge in the country. It has now grown into the largest immigrant women's organisations in New Zealand, bringing together women and families of over 42 different ethnicities.
 

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Contents

Prologue
11
A good Muslim girl
13
The madrasa
19
Dolls and childbirth
26
Nina Shazia and Jahan Ara
30
Spreading my wings
37
Losing Abba
45
My nikah
50
Struggle for survival
140
Reconciliation in Brunei
151
The land of the long white cloud
162
Shakti New Zealand
172
Cultural differences
182
Shakti finds a home
191
At the crossroads
194
Different paths different journeys
205

Maya
55
In Iran
61
A good Muslim wife
72
The modernday slave
78
Love in the midst of war
84
Working on the marriage
95
Farewell Iran
100
Through Turkey
109
Brick Lane
112
Where can I turn?
117
Life in the womens refuge
123
Maya returns
131
Refuge for migrant woman
209
Believing in myself
211
Discovering dyslexia
215
Karamjit Kaur
218
An unexpected award
222
A new journey
227
Being Muslim
230
Keeping the faith
238
Finding myself
244
Epilogue
246
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Farida Sultana has been working in the area of violence against women for over 17 years. She first became associated with Shakti AID UK as a survivor of violence and then as a volunteer. In 1995 she started Shakti in New Zealand. Farida is an advocate for various migrant and refugee issues, works closely with the wider communities and also serves on various boards in New Zealand. She has one adult daughter.

Shila Nair qualified and worked as a journalist in India for 15 years before she migrated to New Zealand with her husband. She has since divorced and has requalified as a counsellor. Being a survivor of violence herself, she is a passionate advocate for the cause of violence against women. She has been working with Shakti since 2002.

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