Sunday, August 10, 2008


My newest work completed 8/10/2008. Inspired by a New Your Times Bestselling book written by Princess: Jean Sasson: MAYADA Daughter Of Iraq. One woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein.

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.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Hi Teffany,

This is Jean Sasson, the author of MAYADA, DAUGHTER OF IRAQ. I was very touched by your kind comments about the story, and also, by your very haunting painting in memory of the shadow women. I spend many long hours at the computer in an attempt to write as beautifully as I possible when describing the lives of these very courageous women. It's a lovely feeling when a reader recognizes such... I will be sending this information to the publisher and to Mayada as I know it will mean a lot to them, as it did to me. It may surprise you to know that every day of my life I find myself thinking of Sara and Sameera and the other shadow women who were tortured hideously. I am haunted by Sara, more than any other, due to her young age and extreme innocence. I am sorry to say that after the 2003 war we were unable to locate any of the women. Mayada did find out from people living close to the prison that the prison was emptied a few weeks prior to the American invasion. Prisoners were loaded up in buses. Unfortunately, they were never again in touch with their families. I fear the worse, that they were taken to the desert and shot -- buried in an unmarked grave. How cruel life can be! Should we ever discover otherwise, I will let readers know. Thank you again... To write to me directly you can go to or either write to Please keep on painting... Warmest regards, Jean Sasson