Do They Hear You When You Cry

Do They Hear You When You Cry

Book - 1998
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A true story of persecution, friendship, and ultimate triumph,Do They Hear You When You Crychronicles the struggles of two extraordinary women: Fauziya Kassindja, who fled her African homeland to escape female genital mutilation only to be locked up in American prisons for sixteen months; and Layli Miller Bashir, a driven young law student who fought for Fauziya's freedom. Fauziya Kassindja's harrowing story begins in Togo, Africa, where she enjoyed a sheltered childhood, shielded by her progressive father from the tribal practice of polygamy and genital mutilation. But when her father died in 1993, Fauziya's life changed dramatically. At age seventeen Fauziya was forced to marry a man she barely knew who already had three wives, and prepare for the tribal ritual of female genital mutilation--a practice that is performed without painkillers or antibiotics. But hours before the ritual was to take place, Fauziya's sister helped her escape to Germany, and from there she traveled to the United States seeking asylum--and freedom. Instead, she was stripped, shackled, and locked up in various INS detention facilities for sixteen months. Enter Layli Miller Bashir, a driven twenty-three-year-old law student who took on Fauziya's case. When the two women met, Layli found an emotionally broken, emaciated girl with whom she forged an extraordinary friendship. Putting her heart and soul into Fauziya's case, Layli enlisted help from the American University International Human Rights Clinic. The clinic's acting director, Karen Musalo, an expert in refugee law, devoted her own considerable efforts to the case, and assembled a team to fight with her on Fauziya's behalf. Ultimately, in a landmark decision that has given hope to many seeking asylum on the grounds of gender-based persecution, Fauziya was granted asylum on June 13, 1996. Here, for the first time, is Fauziya's dramatic personal story, told in her own words, vividly detailing her life as a young woman in Togo and her nightmarish day-to-day existence in U.S. prisons. It is a story of faith and freedom, courage and inspiration--one that you will not soon forget.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte press, 1998.
ISBN: 9780385318327
Branch Call Number: 305.486971 Kassi
Characteristics: 518 pages : map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Bashir, Layli Miller


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A powerful look at what it's like to be a woman, a refugee and a survivor. FGM, female genital mutilation, is terrible tool used to control women and rob them of their fundamental right to chose what to do with and to their bodies. This is an atrocious act that should be not only outlawed but considered a human rights violation.

This is the story of one woman's attempt to free herself from this by doing the only thing she could, fleeing her country, family and everything she knew. She gambled and hoped the US would be a welcoming place for her, she was very very wrong. Although written years ago, given today's political climate in the US it is still resonates.

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