Skip to content
Paperback Betrayed: A Terrifying True Story of a Young Woman Dragged Back to Iraq by Her Parents to Live Under Threat of Death from the An Book

ISBN: 174110811X

ISBN13: 9781741108118

Betrayed: A Terrifying True Story of a Young Woman Dragged Back to Iraq by Her Parents to Live Under Threat of Death from the An

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

Save $13.66!
List Price $19.95
Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

This is the true story of Latifa Ali, betrayed by her family and friends and kept as a prisoner byher father in Iraq. She has no allies, no liberty as a Muslim woman and no access to theAustralian Consulate.As the war on terror rages around her, Latifa is at war with her culture and customs.Imprisoned, abused and violated, her efforts to escape Iraq fail and her death looms closer.She grew up wearing bikinis on an Australian beach, but was forced...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Not to be missed

Do not miss this compelling memoir of an Australian/Kurdish Muslim woman, duped into returning to Iraq to be married off to a traditional Muslim man. As her family keeps her a virtual prisoner in her home, Ms. Ali uses her will and wits to try to figure out an escape route. It is imperative that she leave, as she hides a dark secret that will surely result in her murder (in an honor killing). Ms. Ali crafts a very readable story about life in a traditional Kurdish village, where woman are mere chattel to the men in their lives. Held captive by her unsympathetic family, she capably describes her anger and frustration at being a completely Westernized woman trying to conform to the ways of her parents' highly restrictive traditional society. Her final journey out (yes, she makes it; thus, the book) is as exciting as any chase scene in a movie. It doesn't hurt that the Americans are the heroes in this saga. Not to be missed. Five stars.

Page-turner and eye-opener

I'd thought that Kurdistan was relatively free and its people living under a more just social system than the rest of Iraq during the Saddam years. Wrong. Latifa Ali's memoir shows a degraded and corrupt society. Absolute power corrupts not only governments but people in their own homes. Latifa Ali was a slave in Kurdistan, simply because she was a woman and because "honor killings" are accepted there. Her own mother betrayed her when she wouldn't marry a man who raped her, leading to her imprisonment in her father's house in Kurdistan. Tradition gave her father the right to kill her - and comes very close. She will certainly die if her father forces her to marry, for her bridegroom will discover she's not a virgin. A distant cousin's death haunts her - the woman, in her 20s, had been the victim of malicious gossip, and her husband's family, shamed, took her to a field, drenched her in gasoline, and set her on fire. That dead woman's children, at the time Ali was writing, were the despised servants of their paternal grandmother, convicted by the rumor of their mother's guilt. Ali takes pains to disassociate Islam from this despicable and brutal culture. It's the new "Not Without My Daughter."

A heroine for our times

"Betrayed" is easily read in a day; it is an absolute nail-biter. This is the incredibly true story of Latifa Ali, a young woman deceived by her own mother (thus the title) into accompanying her to their native Iraq from their home in Germany to visit Latifa's supposedly dying grandfather. Grandfather was perfectly fine and stunned by their surprise visit. Latifa was to be doubly stunned when her mother announces, "Latifa, you're too Westernized. You are staying in Iraq; your family will find a husband for you and you will bear children and become a proper Muslim woman." Then Mom traipses back to Germany with her other, younger daughter (for whom my heart broke, just thinking of the future awaiting her). "Betrayed" chronicles Latifa's struggle to maintain her sanity and sense of self in the midst of a completely new culture and to keep from marrying for fear of discovery that she is not a virgin. If this were to be discovered, she would undoubtedly become victim of honor killing, which she knew was her fate as it had happened to a few of her cousins, despotically murdered simply from rumors of making eyes at other men. After a horrendous attempt to escape that resulted in a vicious beating by her father, Latifa eventually returns to Australia, thanks to the US armed forces. (No spoiler here; if she hadn't gotten back, she wouldn't have written the book. Duh.) I was so impressed with Latifa's courage and persistence. Anyone else would have stopped trying to escape. She did not give up hope that she would get back to Australia. I wonder if she fears being dragged back to Iraq, if she keeps in touch with any of the contacts she had prior to her experience. How did she start over once back in Australia, esp since she had no money, no family? I put myself in her place and don't know if I would have had half her bravery, with so much against her. She is a voice bringing attention to the atrocity of honor killings; I pray her efforts will not be wasted.

A Tragic Tale

I don't know what is more tragic about this story, the situation Latifa found herself in, or the fact that her family put her in the situation. This is the memoir of a woman that was hurt by the ones she trusted the most: her parents. At the age of two, Latifa's father is on Saddam's "hit list" and he takes his wife, Latifa, and Latifa's baby brother across the mountains. They find refuge in Australia and Latifa leads a "normal" life.. She attends school, meets boys at the library, wears a bikini. When in her teen years, Latifa's mom decides to move her kids and herself to Germany and things start going sour. Though she preaches the Kurdistan way of life and aides the Kurdistan people, Latifa's mother is not practicing what she preaches. She has affairs, gets a divorce, wears sexy lingerie, works, and has no intention of living in her homeland again. Then she does something funny. I don't mean funny ha ha but funny as in "something stinks real bad about this." She coerces her daughter, Latifa to go to Iraq to visit a dying relative that isn't dying at all and leaves her daughter there with no passport or way of communicating with the outside world. Her father, now living in Kurdistand again, beats her and forces her to submit to the muslim way of life in all things. She is also going to have to marry a man of his choice and when everyone finds out she is no longer a virgin (she was raped by a cousin in Germany) she will be subject to an honor killing. Latifa's father's behavior towards her leaves no doubt that he will follow thru. While suffering abuse at home and hiding behind a veil, Latifa is permitted for a brief period to work at a construction company. In hopes of attaining freedom and a ticket back to Australia, Latifa does spy work. This was kind of exciting as she learns to shoot and drive a car. (Women are not allowed to drive cars there.) She has an affair with a British man. Her attempts at escape all go wrong, however, and result in many beatings. Will she ever make it back to Australia?? A health problem could be her ticket out. Or will her lover, David, finally come to her rescue? A tragic tale. Not only is Latifa betrayed by her parents, but later, her entire family because her escape will cut her off from them forever.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured