Friday, October 07, 2005

Book review: Between Two Worlds by Zainab Salbi

I have been fortunate to get to know Zainab Salbi personally through my involvement with Women for Women International. Her new memoir reveals her past life in Iraq that has not shared with the world until this point. I highly recommend her new book, Between Two Worlds. Here is the review I just submitted to

After founding Women for Women International, an organziation that empowers women survivors of war to rebuild their lives after conflict, Zainab Salbi found the courage and voice to tell her own story of growing up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's control. Salbi's family was trapped in Hussein's inner circle through her father's role as Saddam's airplane pilot. Through her riveting narrative the reader comes to understand that no one in Iraq was safe from Saddam's wrath and destructive appetites. Salbi's searingly honest writing has helped her conquer a lifelong struggle to claim her own identity. Even years after founding WFWI, on a return trip to Iraq she could feel the old, despised label of being known as the "pilot's daughter" clinging to her. With her work and now her writing, Zainab Salbi has shown the transformative power of shining an illuminating light of truth-telling into the dark corners of secrecy and fear. Weaving her family's story with women's history and Iraq's political history, Salbi has created an emotional, beautifully-written, timely and relevant memoir.


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