Mayada: Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson

One Woman’s Survival in Saddam Hussein’s Torture Jail.

Edited to Add: The cover of the book – it completely slipped my mind while posting.

And that is exactly what it is. The true story of Mayada Al Askari, a woman born into a powerful family of Iraq. She had illustrious paternal and maternal grandfathers, and was one of the few highly educated women in Iraqi society. As a divorced mother of two, Mayada was leading a simple life, managing a business printing brochures.

One day, her life is turned upside down when she is thrown into Iraq’s dreaded Baladiyat prison. She has no idea what her crime is supposed to be. She is thrown into cell no 52 which already housed seventeen other ‘Shadow Women’. Women from all kinds of backgrounds, who shared the same fate of imprisonment, torture without trial and execution. They have been condenmed to ‘guilty’ with no chance of a trial – fair or otherwise. Nothing they might say or do, would make any difference.

Mayada had lived a comparatively comfortable life in Iraq so far. Her illustrious family background had ensured that she was educated and independent. Her mother was quite a powerful person in Iraq, until she decided to move to Amman. Mayada had also come in contact with Saddam Hussein during the early parts of his political career, and he had even enjoyed and admired her articles that she wrote when she worked as a journalist. Nothing however prepared her for life in Iraq’s torture jail.

The torture described is horrific. It is unbelievable that people can do such horrible acts to those in captivity. Mayada was comparatively less tortured, but the manner in which the other shadow women were tortured, makes one wonder at how people could even think of it, much less do it.

The women spent their time in jail talking about their stories and the way they ended up in the dreaded jail. They loved to hear about Mayada’s life story and her tales about the famous people she had met. Saddam Hussein and his wife were of particular interest, although they had to be very careful in discussing them. Anybody discussing the President could get into trouble – as if they weren’t in enough trouble already!

Most of the ‘Shadow Women’ had no idea what wrong they had done to land in jail. Only after repeated torture did they realize what was assumed to be their crime. The heart breaking part was that their families had no idea what happened to them, as they were not given a chance to call or let anybody know. Living in a small cell, filled with other women, tortured, tormented and left to die. Despite all that the caring and concerned nature of her fellow inmates touched Mayada. Mayada was comparatively luckier, she was not torture much and managed to get released, thanks to her mother’s connections. Yet her good fortune(comparative) did not attract jealousy or anger in the others – they were gracious and delighted for Mayada.

Even after her release, life was not smooth for Mayada. One can only imagine how it must be for others who were in less fortunate situations.

The book brings to front the life of Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, when anybody could be thrown into jail for no reason, or at the very most, the slightest of pretexts. Apparently when Saddam Hussein first came into power, he seemed like he had his heart in the right place, pushing for women’s education and other social rights. Slowly it dawned upon them, his true nature and his true plans..

A very moving and sad book, but one that makes one realize how precious democracy is. So many freedoms that we take for granted are things which people in some countries can only dream about. I’m not sure if I should or not recommend this book to everyone, but if you have read and liked her other books, you should give this a go.

59 thoughts on “Mayada: Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson

  1. I should get this. I keep bookmarking posts like these to refer to, each time I am buying/borrowing books. Btw, have you found a good library in Bangalore?

  2. 😦
    interesting and moving..
    Im not sure if i want to read this now. But, yes will get to it once my knee is better…

  3. Whoa! 😐 My heart leapt to my throat reading this plot.
    I definitely need to get my hands on this one. Sounds heartbreaking. The protagonist managed to escape. But what about the other women still there? 😦

    • Its heart breaking to read, Ash. Mayada was lucky. We don’t know what happened to the rest of them. Mayada did try to contact their loved ones, but she doesn’t know what happened to them.

    • It is, IHM. Extremely sad. And scary. Especially the fact that Saddam Hussein was considered a good leader – initially. It was only later that his true plans came to the front..

      • Yes, you are right… In the beginning of his regime, he was greatly loved by many Iraqis. And, he tried to do a lot of good stuff with literacy and other social issues. But as time passed, and as his detractors grew, his paranoid behavior grew out of control, and being paranoid is never a good thing — causes lots of problems. I’ve had to deal with a couple of paranoid people in my life, and they see conspiracy theories everywhere they look. It makes a joyful life impossible for them, plus they become destructive to others — that is what happened to Saddam. Too bad, because he showed so much promise in the beginning. Sorry he didn’t have the “happy gene” as the world for so many people would have been a better place…

  4. This sounds like an intriguing book, but a very sad one, too. It has to be heart-wrenching to read about women thrown into torture chambers for no fault of their own. 😦

    It is so unbelievably sad.. For reasons that are frivolous at best..

    I will look for this book. Thanks for the wonderful review.

    Do let me know how you find it.

    BTW have you read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan? You should, if you haven’t already. Judging by your book reviews, I am sure you will love it.

    Nope -will look out for it, for sure.

  5. I have read one like this on Malalai Joya, a brave lady from Afghanistan! She started a school for kids their hiding it all from the Talib*n.
    Will get this soon!

        • Monika Adsani needs to be seen by a psychiatrist very soon. I pity you truly. I know your in-laws well, they are a very good and reputable Kuwaiti family, and among them was the former Kuwaiti Minister of Economy, the late Khaled Al Adsani. Again I am sorry for them for what they had to endure when you were married to their son.
          You attack people, you accuse writers (Jean Deborah, Sylvia, and who knows who else) of stealing your work, while in reality you are not a writer.
          Relax Monica, make peace with yourself, live, try to be happy, and most of all, try not to bite your tongue.

          • Mayada Al Askari’s statement here would not stand up in a court of law. Neither would choosing a dead person as evidence to protect her friend and her interests and neither is ‘hear say’ of any use. If people are cought out with a lie the first thing they usually do is what Mayada is trying on here: They accuse people of mental instability.

    • the person that wrote “The Phoney Princess” Monika Adsani has accused three authors of stealing her work. She has a longtime and repeated history of attacking writers that she claims steals her work. She did this to a writer in England named Deborah Moggach as well as to another writer named Sylvia.

  6. Thanks for talking about MAYADA, DAUGHTER OF IRAQ. I’m always amazed by the cruelty we find when citizens get the chance to reveal what really goes on inside brutal regimes. Makes us shudder to think about what is happening in North Korea or Syria even as we speak… ANYHOW, I’ll tell Mayada about this site and ask her to come for a visit.

    • Jean, thank you so much for visiting here. I’ve read most of your books, and have found them so very brave. It mustn’t have been easy for any of your subjects to talk about the things they went through. Thank you for giving them a voice.

      • You are so right, Smitha. It’s not easy to tell about a life in a way that others want to read about it, and particularly a woman’s life in the Middle East. But Mayada wanted her story to be known, as did my other heroines, so that made it a lot easier. I laugh though, when I recall some of my heroines hanging up the phone on me when my questions would bring up very painful memories. I’m sure that Mayada will visit your site soon and your followers will probably enjoy getting a chance to say hello to her. Thanks, again…

      • Dear Smitha,
        This blog was open to everyone’s opinion; however, it has become a very distressful blog with Ms. Monica Adsani, who falsely calls herself Princess Sultana, started hurling accusations at anyone with a kind word regarding Jean Sasson’s books.
        As I am the subject of this book, I kindly ask you to shut down this blog because it has become a place where Adsani is using as a battle ground.
        No one needs to fight today as terrorists all across the globe are taking care of that. Adsani is attacking and terrorizing all those who dare to say a good word here.
        Please do shut down this outlet.
        Mayada Al Askari

  7. Dear Jean and friends,
    This is such a delightful website. Jean has always been a great support of all women’s issues, regardless of faith, ethnicity, or belief. Jean’s humanity surpasses it all.
    I am going to note down here how I got to know Jean in Baghdad and how she became a vital part of my kids and my life with her kindness and sheer humanity:
    This is a part of a book that will be released soon on bookbaby:

    In July of 1998, American author Jean Sasson visited Baghdad to witness the state of Iraqi children under the UN embargo and sanctions. In addition to her research, Jean was of the opinion that finding an Iraqi woman with a story that reflected the Iraqi people’s hardship during that time would be an important story for the world to hear.
    During this time Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president, was angry with America and with the UN, and had recently announced that Iraq would no longer issue visit visas to writers and journalists from the West. But Jean was determined to travel to Iraq, believing it impossible for a writer to write about the Middle East and leave out the importance of Iraq and Iraqis. Determined to visit, Jean wrote a letter directly to Saddam, and with that letter sent a copy of her book, The Rape of Kuwait, regarding the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991.
    Saddam must have been surprised to receive such a bold request from an American female writer critical of his Kuwaiti policy, and therefore decided to issue her a visa. (I had known Saddam and had met him several times, so his reaction did not surprise me. Saddam was bold and he respected this trait in others.)
    After receiving approval and instructions from Baghdad, Jean traveled to the Iraqi representative at the UN in New York for her visa. Most surprisingly, Jean had been given a letter from Saddam’s offices stating that she was a welcome guest in our country. As far as I knew, such a letter was unusual, to say the least.
    But I knew nothing of this at the time for I had never heard of Jean Sasson. Then one morning I was in my printing press when Shakir Al Falahi, the Iraqi Press Centre’s manager called me, asking that I come into the press offices the following day. Shakir wanted me to meet an American lady and to accompany her around Baghdad as I was fluent in English. Also, I learned later that Jean had insisted on a female translator. Shakir was not accustomed to visitors to the press centre making demands, yet something about this lady made him heed her request. Over the telephone Shakir sounded somber, almost morbid, so I believed that the American lady must be a bespectacled Betty Crocker sort of a female.
    I was in for a surprise.
    The following day I walked into Shakir’s office to see a beautiful American sitting on a chair, laughing and talking with Shakir, who seemed very happy to be chatting away. My first thought was that the American woman’s face could light up any dreary Iraqi government office. Jean’s long braid of golden hair brought the image of a Barbie doll to my mind. Her twinkling blue eyes made everyone around her smile with happiness. I was instantly intrigued by this cheerful southern writer, so very different from what I had imagined. Suddenly my own spirits lifted.
    As I came to know Jean, her sunny nature reminded me of Polyanna, a person who never complains, and a person who seemed to truly adore everyone she met. Over the next three weeks, I was with her from early morning until evening, as she met Iraqis in hospitals, homes, offices, and other locations. Her unflagging joy at meeting Iraqis never faded.
    Jean even visited the Al Ameria shelter that was bombed by the US military by mistake. Saddam was using the building as Security and Control Headquarters, disregarding the hundreds of Iraqis spending their nights in the shelter as a precautionary measure against the 1992 US air raids. As a result, many innocent people died. When we visited the shelter, Iraqis were extremely curious about the American lady with me. To their credit, my fellow countrymen did not become angry at Jean, but seemed to sense that she was extremely sad and sorry that American bombs had killed so many innocent people, albeit by accident. A woman who had lost her entire family even sat and chatted with Jean about the night she had gone to do the family’s washing, only to return to total ruin, and the loss of all whom she loved

    • Welcome here, Mayada! Reading your story made me realize how scary some regimes can be. Can’t even begin to imagine how you survived all that. Thanks so much for sharing it, and the story of how you and Jean met.

      • Thank you Smitha, and thank Jean Sasson for caring and for carrying the ball and running with it. She is one of a kind.

  8. I think this was a lovely honest blog untill hoax author Jean Sasson forecasted genuine humanitarian Malalai Joya’s death, an assascination looming. How dare she, how does sheknow that? Jean Sasson was not in Iraq, did not meet Mayada In Iraq. Mayada had fled Iraq long before she met up with Sasson in the West and Mayada was ever imprisoned iin Iraq. Like all Sasson’s books the MAYADA ibook is a warmongering anti arab anti Muslim hoax propaganda book which helped to get the war started, helped to kill of Iraqs Saddam Hussain and killing manny hundreds of innocent US and UN soldiers in the process and killing thausands of innocent Iraqies, people like you and me. Look at the utter mayhem Iraq is in nowadays. Be aware Jean Sasson and Mayada post’s here are written by one and the same person, by sociopath Jean Sasson who praises herself all over the internet. To show you who she hangs and is real tight with, you have to put the following into your search engine: JEAN SASSON COMMAND POST and while you are on the command post you will see Sasson’s close friend DALTON FURY there too. If you put his name on YOUTUBE and listen to what he has to say you will find out what I’m trying to tell you here.
    If you want to read a book of truth about what goes on in a hidden part of the publishing industry the real Jean Sasson, look on Amazon for “THE PHONEY PRINCESS” book by Friederike Monika Pavlik

    • Well, if all this is not true- that would be great news indeed, for that would mean that nobody got tortured the way the book describes, nor was any one thrown into jail. I certainly hope that it is true.

      As for the war, I, personally, still believe that no country has the right to ‘liberate’ another country’s people. So in that sense, I never supported the war against Iraq. For me, if this book is true, is simply an indication that democracy is the right way forward -at least for my country. Even if the book is a hoax, it serves to show that dictatorships could be disastrous for the people. That is all that I get from this book. As for the book being Anti Arab or Anti Muslim – I can’t really comment, because I did not feel that, but that might be because I am neither Arab nor Muslim. So I shall just refrain from commenting on that aspect.

      • Smitha, I respect your reply. I only like to add that I am not a Muslim and that I am all for democracy. I say let people topple their dictators themselve, true democracy comes from within a country from it’s own people, not with and from outside interference with an eye on the main chance which always is the wealth of each country that’s so far been invaded and then left to its own device in tatters, insecure and poorly with masses of people starving. Look at Iraq today, look at Libya look at Afghanistan, look wha’st happening to Syria. Nothing better ever follows in those countries. You will not find the truth in Sasson’s politically minded hoax books of lies created to bring in a lot of $ollars for her and her publishers. Those books put oil on the flame and poison young peoples minds in the process.
        Why not Check out the GLOBAL RESEACH site where you can register free of charge to receive facts of the daily news. From where you will always be well informed in the knowledge that the info you get comes from ‘honest’ sources.

        • ‘I say let people topple their dictators themselve, true democracy comes from within a country from it’s own people, not with and from outside interference with an eye on the main chance which always is the wealth of each country that’s so far been invaded and then left to its own device in tatters, insecure and poorly with masses of people starving.’ – I totally agree with you. That is how it should be.

          I will read the site you recommend. Thanks so much for the info.

          • It’s my pleasure Smitha. A quick question: where is India’s Kohinoor diamod? in GB. Where are Iraqs priceless ancient artifarcts robbed from their museums? in the USA. Say no more.

    • am a teacher from New Jersey who has been using Ms. Sasson’s PRINCESS for my literature classes since 1999. Each semester when the time comes for my classes to begin, I always google Ms. Sasson and her books just to see if anything new is posted. I am so glad that your blog came up under Jean Sasson’s name because I feel you and other readers of this blog might like to hear what I have to say.

      Before I started using Ms. Sasson’s books, I did an internet search. I found some rather unusual postings from a woman by the name of Monika Adsani who was attacking Ms. Sasson and her books and the people she wrote about all over the web. The attacks were extremely vicious and inflammatory. Of course, since I was planning to use Ms. Sasson’s books in my classes, I felt I must do a complete research, which I did.

      I found court documents where Ms. Adsani had sued William Morrow, Doubleday and Ms. Sasson. The court case was tossed out the year before I did my research. From everything I read, the Judge was not impressed and while I cannot recall the exact words of her ruling, she basically said that the lawsuit had no merit and was so frivolous that Ms. Adsani was fined for bringing the lawsuit. (Ms. Adsani appealed and a panel of judges looked at the material and agreed with the original Judge.) The Judge’s ruling satisfied me as I do know that in the United States that frivolous lawsuits are quite frequent and that lawyers in the USA will take shaky cases just to see if they might get a settlement to go away.

      At the same time I was researching, Ms. Adsani’s new book came out. Despite the fact I felt it would be much ado about nothing, I ordered the book. It arrived yesterday. I read it last night.

      I have no emotions regarding Ms. Sasson or Ms. Adsani. Neither are known to me personally, although I do keep a close tab on any author’s books I use in my classes. I encourage you to get and read Ms. Adsani’s two books. Compare the first one to Ms. Sasson’s books. Then, read the one titled A Phoney Princess. I believe that as responsible bloggers we should get to the facts, rather than automatically believe in outbursts such as the ones posted on your blog.

      I will give you a few highlights regarding the book I read last evening in a 2nd & 3rd posting as I am not sure how much material each person is allowed to post.

    • This is a continuation from my earlier posting.

      I believe that readers of your blog should know that Ms. Adsani makes the following statements/accusations in her book:

      1) Over the years, Ms. Adsani has accused three established writers of stealing her manuscript and then writing a book from her material. (For me, this raises a big red flag.) Two of the writers were from England while Ms. Sasson is from the USA. Did three established writers actually steal one woman’s manuscript? I doubt it. After a little research, I found that none of the writers had written about a European woman in Kuwait. One writer had written about Pakistan, (after living there two years) and another about Morroco, and then the third about Saudi Arabia. I do not know if she sued the two writers in England but one of them wrote the court and swore that Ms. Adsani had harassed and called her up continuously. That writer was so frightened for her personal safety that she moved.
      2) When searching for an attorney to represent her, Ms. Adsani accused nearly every attorney she interviewed of taking her documents and giving them to the publishers she planned on suing. Most of the attorneys must have seen a big red flag in her behavior as they turned her away although Adsani plotted to chain herself to one of the attorney’s doors, something I found very bizarre.
      3) Ms. Adsani makes numerous slanderous comments about many people in her book.
      She accuses the Judge in the case of taking money to rule against her and for the publishers.
      She believes that President Bill Clinton called the judge and “leaned on her” to rule for the publishers.
      She accuses the publisher’s attorney of breaking into a storage unit and stealing her documents. She also accuses him of tapping her telephone in England. She also accuses the attorney of working with the court reporter to change the depositions so that the judge could not read what the defendants had really said.
      4) Ms. Adsani accused practically everyone she has met since 1991 of lying to protect the author, which means that publishers, editors, attorneys, etc., were all conspiring and lying to protect one author. From what I have seen in other cases, if an author has committed such an act, the publishers pull the books and cut all ties to the author. This did not happen with Ms. Sasson who has had nine or ten books successfully published by some of the biggest publishers in the world. I feel certain that the publishers would not have spent good money to defend an author who had stolen anything. Even big name authors get the boot if such a thing is shown to be true.

    • After reading both Ms. Adsani’s books, as well as four of Ms. Sasson’s books, I have come to the sad conclusion that Ms. Adsani is doing a lot of false accusing of three innocent authors, a judge, former President Bill Clinton, and various attorneys.

      I would like to also add that several of my students (after reading Ms. Sasson’s PRINCESS book) wrote positive reviews about the book PRINCESS on Amazon. Each student was viciously attacked by Ms. Adsani, with name calling, etc. One of my students complained to Amazon and we later noticed that all of Ms. Adsani’s inflammatory attacks were removed from Amazon.

      As far as the war in Iraq, that is something all have a different opinion on, although I have not been fond of that war and glad we are leaving Iraq. As an Iraqi, I suspect Ms. Al-Askari might feel differently as those are the people who suffered under Saddam. And one question came to my mind: How could Ms. Sasson’s books have caused any war? She does not have that power, plus, consider this: Her first book, The Rape of Kuwait, was not published until after the first Gulf War started. Her book on Mayada Al-Askari was not published until October 2003, a full five months after the war in Iraq began in April 2003. So her books could have done nothing to create bad feelings and bring war. In fact, my students always tell me how they grew to care about the Arab world after reading Ms. Sasson’s books. She seems to love the area and I have seen nothing in her books which bring forth bad feelings. On the other hand, if you will read Ms. Adsani’s first book, you will be appalled at the hatred she expresses towards every Kuwaiti she ever met, including her own ex-husband and his entire family. As someone who has read both accounts, and after reading many accusations made by Ms. Adsani online, it becomes clear to me that she is describing herself when she is attacking Ms. Sasson.

      As far as Ms. Al-Askari: I suspect that it is indeed Ms. Al-Askari who is writing you on this blog. I am sure that you can track the email address to make certain that her comments came from a different place or even country than did Ms. Sasson’s note. And, you can probably check to make certain that my email is coming to you from New Jersey, and not somewhere in the south where Ms. Sasson supposedly resides.

      I hope my email will inspire those reading your blog not to take any accusations seriously without first discovering the facts. Thank you. I will have my students look at your blog so that they might learn this good lesson: Anyone can say anything about another person, good or bad, but it is best to look into a situation and find out the facts for yourself.

      • I can assure you that I don’t accept everything people say at face value. I have read most of Jean Sassons books and have liked her writing. Are they true? I would like to believe that. As for books starting wars, I find that difficult to accept. Thank you for your detailed comment. And welcome here.

        • Well I am glad to hear that you do not take such wild accusations at face value. It is very strange for someone to post in a name not their own and to call other people such names and accuse them of such things.

          As far as whether or not Ms. Sasson’s books are true, all I know is that the heroines she wrote about in her books, including the book about Mayada, the book about the Kurdish woman (cannot recall her name) the book about the Afghan woman (Maryam) and the book about Omar Bin Laden is this: All of these people made national and international media appearances and confirmed that their stories were true. IF they were not, I am sure we would have heard from someone from their home countries who know them personally, and someone other than Monika Adsani or those she gets stirred up, mainly well-known conspiracy believers. When you hear that 40% of the people in the world believe that President Obama is a Muslim and was not born in America, you know there is something to worry about and that some people will believe anything they read or anything told to them without a single fact to support their claims.

          Lastly, I find it appalling that Ms. Adsani has assumed the name of Princess Sultana and posts in her name trying to pretend that she is a princess, when in fact she is a German woman. All of my students found this to be very odd and said that of all the things this woman does, the fact that she posts under the name of the princess is one main reason they do not believe a word of anything else she says. Most people post in their real names and do not pretend to be a princess. Yet another bizarre behavior.

          I must get my materials ready for school, and I really did not have time for this, but I felt it was important that all the research I had done be shared. Thank you for listening.

          • What a thoughtful reply. All of Jean’s true-to-life stories are 100% true. I have studied her books for the last 12 years and have learned so much. Her books are even read and taught in women’s groups, schools and colleges all over the world. Jean Sasson is truly an authority on what life is like for women of the Middle East. She has touched so many lives through her books and I am sure I speak for many people when I say that I hope she never stops writing.

  9. What I forgot to mention in my last post is the fact that Jean Sasson has put up her Mayada book above herself and that she herself incognito wrote that brilliant review of the book underneath. At the end of her review Sasson tells readers they ought to look up the rest of her books. Then she waits untill a reader comes along and shows interst at which time Sasson prances and pounces surprised and all innocently to thank and praise each and everyone who wrote about her book. And she even posts self idolising texts hiding behind the name of Mayada as she did on this post.
    You will not find a genuine author who pulls this kind of insincere phoney PR stunts to sell their books and make money. Jean Sasson stands supreme.

  10. My last message to Smitha and her readers on this blog.
    Professor Braun. Well, here we have a blogger who goes by the name of Professor Braun. PROFESSOR? Professor OF LITERATURE? As we can tell, from reading this blog it is frequented by smart well educated young people with considerable better knowledge of how to use the English language than Prof. Braun has. After reading Professor Braun’s posts ask yourself: Is the English language he uses on this blog that of a teacher who teaches literature at a college? I say “No” So, is Professor Braun the genuine article or is he an intruder? Well, lets start twith his title and his name. A genuine Professor who has sooo much to say to proof a point, so much to defend but nothing to hide would of course put his Christian name before Braun and if genuine would inform us of that college where he tells us he is teaching. New Jersey is not sufficient. Big red flag!!!
    So let’s sum it up: What we have here is a close friend, relative etc of Jean Sasson who is telling endless lies to help clear Jean Sasson’s name and in the process this person is all over the place and behaves like a bull before a red cloth. Would a responsible academic contemplate such a dirty deed? I leave this question open to judge for readers who have experience with genuine engl. literary professors.
    This professor person could be a male or female or a young person with the exact same talents as fraudulent hoax author Jean P, Sasson was born with, which happens to be ‘writing and telling lies which get bigger by the day. Birds of a feather flock together.

    Why not Google my blog: THE PRINCESS SULTANA HOAX for more info?

    “THE PHONEY PRINCESS” book is the true story of how my “CINDERELLA IN ARABIA” lifestories unpublished manuescript was handed to Jean P. Sasson by my very own New York based literary agent Peter Miller with who’m I had a one year contract 1988-89 and how this two people invented a Saudi Arabian Princess out of thin air called her Sultana gave her my lifestory and BINGO! the two thieveing crooks had created a world wide bestseller called “PRINCESS” (readers note: Professor Braun has avoided to mention Sasson’s best seller “PRINCESS” book’s here. Why is he hiding those important book’s from you?)

    I have written” THE PHONEY PRINCESS” as present to literary agent PETER MILLER who calls himself ‘The Literary Lion’ and his author client JEAN P. SASSON.
    Peter and Jean are the lucky parents of the worldwide bestseller “Princess” born in US 1992. This year we have 2012 which makes their offspring “Princess” book 20 years old.

    More is to come……more surprises……

    SMITHA and bloggers I say “sorry” to have interepted the serene flow on this blog and ” thank you” for letting me have my say and now I sign off in the hope that my THE PHONEY PRINCESS book will be of help to curb the rampant literary theft and literary hoaxes in the US which have destroyed and robbed years of my life. I’m not the only victim. There are hundred’s more out there like me.
    Friederike Monika Pavlik
    PLEASE PASS THE WORD. Thank you.

    • Your book is filled with mean-spirited lies. All you seem to want to do is attack Jean Sasson and with lies and crazed rants. You really need to get yourself some help.

  11. Mayada is such an inspiring book. No other book has ever touched me like Mayada did. It is so sad, but it’s also very hopeful and thoughtful. The stories about the Shadow Women are especially tragic. They are were so courageous. And Jean Sasson is such an astute writer to be able to collect all of these stories as well as Mayada’s own fascinating life.

  12. Hello all, it’s been some time since I last wrote on this blog about author Jean P Sasson’s hoax book writing and my expose book The Phoney Princess. On the 8th of October my book was taken of Amazon at Liza Dawsons request. Liza Dawson is Sasson’s literary agent who blatandly lied to Amazon stating that I Friederike Monika Pavlik had copied pages and pages of her client Jean P Sasson’s “Princess book” into The Phoney Princess. Without presenting evidence of the crime accused my book was removed. No court order, no legal document no affidavit or any kind of evidence of prove that what this woman had accused me off was / is fact. To stay polite I will only say “Amazon is a dissapointment!”
    Since the once bestseller author Jean P Sasson has to ‘self publish her last two hoaxes on Amazon’s Create Space one speculates ” Are mainstreem publishers now aware of Sasson’s hoax-writing?” The books titels are: American Chick In Saudi Arabia and Yasmeena’s Choice.
    For further info. please Google: LA GAUCHE IS RIGHT ARTICLE 841
    Thank you, F. M. Pavlik

  13. PS: Since this blog page started with the Mayada book why not watch a telling video you won’t find on self appointed Humanetarian and Voice For Middle Eastern Woman Jean P Sasson’s website and neither will she mention it in interviews because it shows her and Mayada at West Point US lecturing young soldiers why they should fight Iraqs dictator Saddam Hussain. Their effords helped to bear fruit and Iraq is a bloodbath today with no end in sight.

  14. My name is Mayada Al-Askari. Mayada, Daughter of Iraq is my true story. Since I know everything that happened in my own life, and my story, and the book written about me, I believe I should take a moment to comment, although I have no desire to engage a person who lies so easily about so many things. This is for interested readers in knowing facts and truth and not the lies told by a woman who lies about so many people. I believe that she needs medical treatment to help her to know reality from delusions. But this is just my opinion from my experiences from her.

    This is a very ill-informed woman who makes up things since she is unaware of the truth and facts.

    Yes, Jean Sasson and I were invited to speak at West Point.

    Did the book Jean wrote about me help to start a war? Impossible.

    Why? The war started in April 2003.

    The book about my life was published in October 2003.

    The appearance at West Point was after the book was published and for sale.

    Was I glad that Saddam was no longer in power? Yes.

    Why? Because I lived my entire life in Iraq. From the time I was a child, I lived under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Our dictator was the one who started war after war, against Iran, and then Kuwait. Iraq was coming to pieces under his regime.

    Am I glad now that Saddam Hussein was ousted? Yes.

    Am I happy now with the way things are going? No.

    Was I happy with the way the Americans were in Iraq? No.

    How did it go wrong? I believe the Americans did not know how to deal with the Middle East, or with my country.

    Now that Iraqis are ruling, am I more happy? No.

    Why? Because there is still corruption. There is still brutality. Many things are wrong. I am very sad because Iraqis are now fighting Iraqis.

    Did Americans do all they could? Yes, I believe so, but they needed more knowledge of my land.

    Do I think Americans are glad now that Iraq is doing poorly? No. In the course of my work, I speak with many Americans who are in military power, or in politics. All seems very shocked at how things turned out.

    Would Iraq be better off with Saddam still in power? No. If Saddam had stayed in power, and one day died while ruling, that his sons would have made Iraq a bloodbath much more than it is today.

    I write about Iraq and the problems there in my job as reporter at Gulf News. I am much more familiar with my country, and the problems we face, than this person who has never been to Iraq and does nothing more than spout hatred on your page.

    As far as Jean Sasson, she is the dearest friend I have ever had. I have known her well since she first came to my country in July 1998, when I was appointed her translator. I speak with Jean every week. She is the most devoted friend in my life. It is painful for me to see such lies told about a person who has never harmed anyone in her life. In fact, it is the opposite. The only good thing is that people can read about this woman who pretends to be Princess Sultana, and even writes under the princess’ name, which in itself is a very dishonorable thing to do. Read and research and find out the facts, and you will discover that this Austrian woman is a woman who hates everyone. I know of her ex-husband’s family in Kuwait and they are good people. There were terrible and hateful lies told about them in this woman’s book.

    As far as Jean Sasson not being published by the big publishers anymore, that, too, is not true. Jean is currently writing a book that has been purchased by DOUBLEDAY, one of the biggest publishers in the world. Jean’s books are in over fifty countries worldwide. All those books were purchased by a publisher in that country. No publisher has ever dropped Jean Sasson because of Monika Adsani’s lies. All her publishers believe in her and have stood by her. Why? Because nothing this woman who calls herself falsely Princess Sultana says is true.

    As far as American Chick in Saudi Arabia and Yasmeena’s Choice, I know through our friendship that American Chick in Saudi Arabia is not a complete book, and that Jean and her literary agent decided that they would not offer the book to any publishers until it was a complete memoir. That is why it is for sale through Jean’s literary agency. As far as the book Yasmeena’s Choice, I know for a fact that Jean is the one who made the decision to keep her rights. This has come about because publishers and authors are in big discussions about the percentages due authors for e-books. Many traditional writers are temporarily keeping control of their books until these percentages are decided.

    It is clear to me that this woman knows nothing about publishing, and nothing she says is anything but a made up lie just to try and discredit Jean Sasson and the women she has written about.

    This is all I have to say. The owner of this site can trace where my comment is coming from, and she will see that it is in Dubai, where I now live and work.

    Thank you for listening to someone who has the facts, and is not telling lies about other people.

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