Do They Hear You When You Cry

Fauziya Kassindja and Layli Miller Bashir

Published by Delta, 1999
ISBN 10: 0385319940 / ISBN 13: 9780385319942
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Synopsis: 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.

Review: Just hours before her impending and much feared circumcision and days before her marriage to a polygamist, 17-year-old Fauziya Kassindja flees an oppressive life in Togo, seeking political asylum in the United States. But her troubles are far from over once Kassindja arrives in the place where she hopes to find her freedom. The harrowing tale of Do They Hear You When You Cry? depicts the agonizing months spent behind bars waiting for her release.

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (Sister Act II, Distinguished Gentleman, Designing Women) delivers the audio version of this passionate and vivid story. Using a variety of accents, intonations, and diction, she develops distinct voices for the dozens of people who come into contact with the young woman. Through her creative, melodic performance, Ralph provides the biography with energy and enthusiasm. Listeners are quickly drawn into Kassindja's frightening world and the ordeal surrounding her desperate fight for freedom. Do They Hear You When You Cry? is a profoundly moving story of strength and perseverance. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Gina Kaysen

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Title: Do They Hear You When You Cry
Publisher: Delta
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Fauziya Kassindja
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