A book by Malika Oufkir< read all 1 reviews
Deprivation was a fact of life. They lacked everything from adequate food, books, health care, and even human contact. One sibling suffered from anorexia. Another sibling suffered from epileptic fits. It was Malika who took care of everyone who got sick. The youngest of 7 siblings was deprived of everything being only 3 years old when imprisoned. The family even experienced solitary confinement for long periods of time.
I was amazed at how well Malika and her oldest brother Raouf educated their younger siblings early in their incarceration material was taken away She taught her young siblings how to read and write in French, Arabic and English. Brother Raouf helped with math and geography. They entertained themselves by making up stories and putting on shows for one another. They made toys for the little ones of wood and cardboard. They used Tide detergent to wash themselves with.
The Oufkir family escaped from jail and such poor conditions in 1987 after 15 years. They were to be imprisoned again in a nice house but still surrounded by guards for more 5 years. I learned from reading this book that true freedom does not always mean a change in surroundings. True freedom happens when people are free to choose how they want to live their lives. This is an excellent read.
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They were first held in an abandoned fort, where they ate moderately well and were allowed to keep some of their fine clothing and books. Conditions steadily deteriorated, and the family was eventually transferred to a remote desert prison, where they suffered a decade of solitary confinement, torture, starvation, and the complete absence of sunlight. Oufkir's horrifying descriptions of the conditions are mesmerizing, particularly when contrasted with her earlier life in the royal court, and many graphic images will long haunt readers. Finally, teetering on the edge of madness and aware that they had been left to die, Oufkir and her siblings managed to tunnel out using their bare hands and teaspoons, only to be caught days later. Her account of their final flight to freedom makes for breathtaking reading. Stolen Lives is a ...