Do They Hear You When You Cry

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9780385319942: Do They Hear You When You Cry
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For Fauziya Kassindja, an idyllic childhood in Togo, West Africa, sheltered from the tribal practices of polygamy and genital mutilation, ended with her beloved father's sudden death.  Forced into an arranged marriage at age seventeen, Fauziya was told to prepare for kakia, the ritual also known as female genital mutilation.  It is a ritual no woman can refuse.  But Fauziya dared to try.  

This is her story--told in her own words--of fleeing Africa just hours before the ritual kakia was to take place, of seeking asylum in America only to be locked up in U.S.  prisons, and of meeting Layli Miller Bashir, a law student who became Fauziya's friend and advocate during her horrifying sixteen months behind bars.  Layli enlisted help from Karen Musalo, an expert in refugee law and acting director of the American University International Human Rights Clinic.  In addition to devoting her own considerable efforts to the case, Musalo assembled a team to fight with her on Fauziya's behalf.  Ultimately, in a landmark decision in immigration history, Fauziya Kassindja was granted asylum on June 13, 1996.  Do They Hear You When You Cry is her unforgettable chronicle of triumph.

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Fauziya Kassindja describes her upbringing in a small Western Africa village as "part modern, part traditional, and Muslim throughout." Her Muslim father did not force his daughters to wear veils and encouraged their individualism. Most importantly, Kassindja's father instilled in her a distrust and fear of female circumcision, a controversial procedure still performed in many parts of the world. Tragically for Fauziya, he would die an untimely death, but his emphatic disgust at this dangerous and life-threatening operation had a remarkable effect on his daughter. She would flee the country just hours before her own circumcision, eventually arriving in the United States, where she faced an immigration nightmare.

Fauziya recounts her harrowing ordeals in both Africa and the United States with eloquence and remarkable depth. Her initial naïveté in assuming that she would automatically gain asylum only adds to the tragedy of her story, as she instead faces isolation and religious persecution in high-security prisons. She graphically describes the horrors of strip searches and a terrible sickness that was ignored by prison staff.

This is a book of unspeakable despair put into words as well as a remarkable friendship forged between Fauziya and her lawyer (and contributing editor) Layli Miller Bashir, who was at the fore of Fauziya's case and brought national attention to the plight of these females seeking asylum. Fauziya gained her political asylum in June 1996, but the book ends on a cautionary note; the immigration process for these women is still arduous and often unsuccessful.

From the Publisher:

"Fauziya Kassindja's personal story shines the light of bravery and honesty....Do They Hear You When You Cry could change the female half of history in the millennium to come."
--Gloria Steinem

"The courage of an indomitable African woman shines through this eloquent testimony in this superb book."
--Mark Mathabane, author of Kaffir Boy

"Even knowing the outcome in advance, you are held in suspense by the sheer horror of [Kassindja's] ordeal. A Midnight Express in New Jersey--this book will make one by turns, angry, afraid, and ashamed of one's complacency."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For Fauziya Kassindja, an idyllic childhood in Togo, West Africa, sheltered from the tribal practices of polygamy and genital mutilation, ended with her beloved father s sudden death. Forced into an arranged marriage at age seventeen, Fauziya was told to prepare for kakia, the ritual also known as female genital mutilation. It is a ritual no woman can refuse. But Fauziya dared to try. This is her story--told in her own words--of fleeing Africa just hours before the ritual kakia was to take place, of seeking asylum in America only to be locked up in U.S. prisons, and of meeting Layli Miller Bashir, a law student who became Fauziya s friend and advocate during her horrifying sixteen months behind bars. Layli enlisted help from Karen Musalo, an expert in refugee law and acting director of the American University International Human Rights Clinic. In addition to devoting her own considerable efforts to the case, Musalo assembled a team to fight with her on Fauziya s behalf. Ultimately, in a landmark decision in immigration history, Fauziya Kassindja was granted asylum on June 13, 1996. Do They Hear You When You Cry is her unforgettable chronicle of triumph. Seller Inventory # AAS9780385319942

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For Fauziya Kassindja, an idyllic childhood in Togo, West Africa, sheltered from the tribal practices of polygamy and genital mutilation, ended with her beloved father s sudden death. Forced into an arranged marriage at age seventeen, Fauziya was told to prepare for kakia, the ritual also known as female genital mutilation. It is a ritual no woman can refuse. But Fauziya dared to try. This is her story--told in her own words--of fleeing Africa just hours before the ritual kakia was to take place, of seeking asylum in America only to be locked up in U.S. prisons, and of meeting Layli Miller Bashir, a law student who became Fauziya s friend and advocate during her horrifying sixteen months behind bars. Layli enlisted help from Karen Musalo, an expert in refugee law and acting director of the American University International Human Rights Clinic. In addition to devoting her own considerable efforts to the case, Musalo assembled a team to fight with her on Fauziya s behalf. Ultimately, in a landmark decision in immigration history, Fauziya Kassindja was granted asylum on June 13, 1996. Do They Hear You When You Cry is her unforgettable chronicle of triumph. Seller Inventory # AAS9780385319942

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