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

Front Cover
Dutton, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
22 Reviews
Jean Sasson met Mayada Al-Askari on a trip to Baghdad in 1998. One year later, Jean learned that Mayada had been taken without the knowledge of her family from the tiny print shop that she owned, and imprisoned in the notorious Baladiyat Prison—headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s infamous secret police.

Mayada’s story both past and present is truly incredible. Her family was one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq. One grandfather fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. The other was the first true Arab nationalist (admired greatly by Saddam Hussein). Her uncle was Prime Minister of Iraq for nearly forty years; her mother, an important government official.

From personal meetings with Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali to raising two small children as a single mother, Mayada’s life was at once privileged, yet carefully balanced. But life can shift quickly in Iraq and Mayada finds herself thrown into a small cell with seventeen other women. The shadow women. The women rally around each other to share their unbelievable stories and in so doing gain the strength to survive. The names of the shadow women are scrawled in charcoal onto the cell wall in the hopes that one day one of them will make it out to tell others of their existence. This is Mayada’s courageous story, but also that of her sisters.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Mayada, daughter of Iraq: one woman's survival under Saddam Hussein is a very good book which changed my opinion about George Bushes decision to invade Iraq. It is a very well written book that is a pleasure to read. I would recommend this to about everyone even to those that do not enjoy reading. 

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

User Review  - ♥ Marlene♥ - Goodreads

Mayada. What can I say about this book? It is hard because I am in the minority thinking this is not such a great book. Yes I do agree it was interesting to get to know a bit of gossip about Saddam ... Read full review


The Shadow Women of Cell 52
The Four Black Doors
Jido Sati

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2003)

Jean Sasson is a writer and lecturer who has lived in Saudi Arabia and traveled extensively in the Middle East. She is the author of four internationally bestselling books on the Middle East, including: The Rape of Kuwait; Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia; Princess Sultana¬'s Daughters; and Princess Sultana¬'s Circle. Jean now lives in the deep South, although she still visits the Middle East frequently.

Mayada Al-Askari is a former translator and journalist. Mayada speaks English fluently and will travel to the U.S. to promote her story.

Bibliographic information