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Read Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up In The Shadow Of Saddam (2006)

Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (2006)

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1592402445 (ISBN13: 9781592402441)

Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up In The Shadow Of Saddam (2006) - Plot & Excerpts

There are so many angles you can take in reviewing this book since it speaks about both personal & political matters - which personally comes to mind how it has shaped our society through perspectives that have had the power to create categories: gender, race, religion & social status- especially our similarities & differences of these categories across the globe. I'll just dive into a small topic of the book that might be only a piece of the bigger picture. I think is interesting when Salbi reflects on how we view victims of certain catastrophes. We might think that the last thing they need, for example, is enough money to buy lipstick, but Salbi believes that because it is a small part in how women identify themselves, it should not be taken away from them because of their misfortunes. Now readers will either agree or not, but I will stay away from this to instead get to the heart of the matter of tackling the healing of those we wish to heal. In this aspect, there are many layers of healing- perhaps what Salbi mentioned is one, one that is in the surface. Now it being in the surface is not a reason to judge it, for it is still part of its layers. In saying this, what grabbed my attention the most as a reader was the aspect of Salbi's struggle to heal (others, herself, both, whatever comes to mind)- in trying to find out appropriate ways to confront and somehow alleviate the suffering of the women she spoke with. Mostly it was listening and offering what they needed, something most of us do in friendships, family and other relationships. I bring it up because it is an important aspect of serving, yet very challenging. We do not want to do or say anything that is wrong or inappropriate, even labeling victims as victims is something that can be a delicate matter. We don't want to discourage, protect too much, or devalue their experiences, and so on. I am currently taking a class on Civic Ecology and taking this class finally propelled me to write a review for this book. The reason I bring it up is because I believe civic ecology is an example of ways people come together to solve the problems that they face after any type of disaster: war, natural disasters, trauma, poverty & so on. Though is not necessarily offering solutions (something that might be there but hard to put into action & influence others to be a part of, though possible) it is nonetheless a way to approach problems in a healthy way. For those who picked up this book because they are interested in how to serve others (like myself), I encourage you to look into topic. If I had to personally sum up what civic ecology is about, I would say that it is helping ourselves and others heal through working with the environment & nature, while adding economic stimulus and well-being. Most importantly, is being part of a community, not outcasted because of your past, social status, or whatever might make someone feel marginalized. Therefore it is a nice way to make a difference in ourselves, others and the environment at the same time: it is basically all living things working together, and it doing so, cultivating wholeness.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and president of Women for Women International, a non-profit organization providing women survivors of war with support (financial and moral) to move from crisis to stability.Salbi herself is a survivor. As she went to war-torn countries, she listened to women brave enough to share their horrendous and, to them, shameful stories so that they could give courage and encouragement to other victims. Salbi realized she needed to face her own "shame" and in so doing perhaps she could help others and heal herself.Thus, her memoirs. We don't read many stories from people who grew up knowing Saddam Hussein and his family, who were forced to attend his parties, whose parents lived in palpable fear of offending him but yet were showered with gifts from him, who came to their home for visits. Her story is a riveting glimpse of life in Iraq under Hussein. And since this is a personal story, especially life for the better-off.She grew up in an upper-middle class family. Both her parents were intelligent and well educated. Hussein was not. He surrounding himself with thugs like he was but also with educated people in the hope that some of their culture and class would transfer to him. A few gloried in being in his inner circle. Most, certainly not Salbi's parents, did not; it was a forced friendship. In a large sense, this is a story of abusive relationships. Hussein's abusive relationship with Iraq and with its people - friend and foe; the abusive relationships Salbi came to know in her work with Women for Women International; and the emotionally abusive relationship Salbi felt from the deep shame as being associated with Saddam. It is also a story about family and her love for her mother, whom she adored as a child, felt angry at and betrayed by as a young adult, and reconciled with when she was dying.This is a book well worth reading. It is not as grim as the recitation of facts I have given. Salbi's mother was an independent spirit, was vivacious and full of the joy of life. She passed these traits on to her daughter. She survived!

What do You think about Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up In The Shadow Of Saddam (2006)?

I would not have read this memoir but for my world books challenge, and that would have been a loss, because it is a fascinating book.Zainab Salbi grew up in a prosperous and well-connected Iraqi family in the 1970s and 1980s – as it turned out, they were too well-connected, because Saddam Hussein was determined to keep her parents and, by extension, the whole family, in his orbit. I initially assumed that the title, “Between Two Worlds,” referenced the author’s immigration from Iraq to the United States, but when this phrase is used within the book, it’s actually to refer to Salbi’s feeling of being caught between two worlds within Iraqi society: between the dictator’s elite inner circle and the regular middle-class world that he terrorized. She and her family shuttle between the two, spending weekends in one of the palace compounds and playing their prescribed roles at official events (a performance, in which they can't afford to ever let the façade drop), and weekdays in their own neighborhood, where Salbi can't let on to friends that she knew Saddam as “Uncle.”Although most of this book takes place under a bloody dictatorship, and some of it during wartime, it’s not a violent story – and yet, we see how Salbi and her family are torn apart by the constant fear, stress, and need to pretend in order to protect themselves. One of the questions she wrestles with throughout the book is why Iraqis allowed such an oppressive regime, and more specifically, why her parents stayed, knowing what a dangerous situation they put themselves and their children in. She compares it to an abusive relationship – at first they thought they could handle it, and then they were in too far and afraid to leave – and that’s not a comparison Salbi makes lightly, because in the course of extricating herself from her childhood she also experiences interpersonal abuse. But she is an immensely strong person who is able to extricate herself from ugly situations and ultimately help others.So I found this to be an enthralling story, from the details of life in Iraq under Saddam’s rule to the author’s personal journey of healing and self-discovery. In general I am leery of ghostwritten books (I assume that as “collaborator,” journalist Laurie Becklund did most of the writing), but here the collaboration appears successful: the writing feels personal and immediate, with Becklund’s contributions presumably being the clear and readable style and organization. At the same time, it's written with a good dose of self-awareness; Salbi recognizes that many other people were worse off than she, and she deals fairly with people who turned out to be unsavory.At any rate, this is another win for reading outside my natural comfort zone (my comfort zone is expanding). Recommended.
—Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

Zainab Salbi was the daughter of Saddam Hussein's pilot. By being his pilot he was now part of Saddam's "inner circle" and because of that his family has to follow suit. Zainab was just a young girl when she was made to call Saddam "Amo", which meant uncle. Through his tyranny, he expected people to show their affection for him by forcing them to give him gifts of gold, kiss him, call him endearing names and be at his beck and call, which included rape if he so desired. Zainab's parents were very loving, and it was that love for her and fear of Saddam that forced her mother to make a mistake that would plunge Zainab into a hell even she did not know under Saddam's regime. Her emotional journey from childhood to womanhood led her on her path to start an organization called Women for Women International, an organization that empowers women victims of war, to not only survive their ordeal, but to become whole again. Zainab turned her family's oppressive life experiences into a positive action. A few months back I joined WFWI and am now sponsoring a woman in Rwanda. It was particularly interesting for me to see how this organization came to be. Through the eyes of a frightened child, a confused teenager and then an abused woman, Zainab Salbi rose to the top and turned it all around for herself and other victims.
—Ella Burakowski

Amazing book!!This author wrote a very touching and insightful book.I really enjoyed reading about her childhood, and learning about Iraqi culture. It really provided a different perspective and insight to a culture that I know very little of, other than what is televised by the media or written in the newspaper. Salbi's advocacy for women around the world was truly inspiring.Anyone even remotely interested in culture,the struggle for equality, women's rights, or close examination of a dictator's life should give this book a read!I am so grateful she wrote this and feel as though I have learned so much from this author.
—Karen Cook

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