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Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

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9781568951911: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
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Malika Oufkir was the eldest daughter of General Oufkir, the King of Morocco's closest aide. Malika spent most of her childhood and adolescence in the court harem, surrounded by luxury and privilege. In 1972, her father was executed after an attempt to assassinate the king. Malika, her five brothers and sisters, and her mother were immediately imprisoned in a desert penal colony. After twenty years, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with their bare hands and make an audacious escape. Malika was finally able to leave Morocco and begin a new life in exile in 1996. Stolen Lives is an unforgettable story of one woman's journey to freedom.

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Review:

At the age of 5, Malika Oufkir, eldest daughter of General Oufkir, was adopted by King Muhammad V of Morocco and sent to live in the palace as part of the royal court. There she led a life of unimaginable privilege and luxury alongside the king's own daughter. King Hassan II ascended the throne following Muhammad V's death, and in 1972 General Oufkir was found guilty of treason after staging a coup against the new regime, and was summarily executed. Immediately afterward, Malika, her mother, and her five siblings were arrested and imprisoned, despite having no prior knowledge of the coup attempt.

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 remarkable book of unfathomable deprivation and the power of the human will to survive.

About the Author:

Malika Oufkir lives in Paris. Michele Fitoussi, who cowrote Stolen Lives, is a French journalist who writes regularly for French Elle.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786886302: Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (Oprah's Book Club)

Featured Edition

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Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi
Published by Large Print Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 1568951914 ISBN 13: 9781568951911
New paperback Quantity: 2
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