July 28, 2017

Stolen Lives, Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir

Stolen LivesThis is an autobiography of Malika Oufkir – who was a Moroccan political prisoner for 20 years.

In Stolen Lives she tells the story of her amazing childhood as the adopted daughter of the king, and daughter of his right hand man. Then how after her father attempted to overthrow the king the whole family were thrown into jail, and forgotten about by the world for over 20 years. The book finishes with how they were finally released and what life has held for them afterwards.

It’s a fascinating book. The detail is at just the right level – not so much that you get annoyed with the endless descriptions, but just the right amount to keep you hooked. The book dwells on the positive side of everything that happened – the great coping strategies they came up with, how they made the most of what they had. And it also doesn’t go very deeply into the politics surrounding either their incarceration, or their release. I would like to know about both of these, but this book is about a family and how they struggled to survive, and then live a normal life after they were released – and to get too into the politics would detract from the power of that.

It’s a very interesting and educating read, worth reading too.

[and if you want to know what happened next Malika has also written "Freedom: the Story of my Second Life"]

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