The most captivating book I've read in 7 years. I grieved for three days upon completing its story. So moving, and painfully gripping with each word that I felt the humiliation, loss and suffering each of the seventeen women in cell #52 endured. Jean Sasson's writing is so breathtaking, so vivid it literally draws you in to Mayada's world. A world that few if any American woman could fathom. Her courage to survive when few would find the hope or faith to do so compelled me. This tragic miraculous story is one of triumph and fear. Mayada referred to the women she shared dark chamber with as "shadow women," cellmates that suffered more severe punishment then her own. Yet they nursed her when she was sick, cared for her, listened to her story, prayed for each other daily and even gave up their own small food ration to give another the strength to endure a morning torture.
I am haunted by each woman's story. Only one survived, Mayada daughter of Iraq. This painting deplicts my gratitude for her survival, and is also in memory of those woman who suffer daily in Baladiyat prison cells with no name, or face to save them.