Publication Date: May 17, 2016
List Price US $22.95
Trim Size (H x W): 6 x 9
List Price US $11.99
A powerful first-person account of Ensaf Haidar’s life wither her husband, Saudi Arabian social activist Raif Badawi, and her worldwide campaign to free him from imprisonment
Ensaf Haidar’s unforgettable account of her marriage to imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi tells the story of the survival of their love against all odds, and of her courageous fight for her husband’s freedom.
When Ensaf and Raif married in 2002 they shed tears of joy; they had overcome the resistance of her family and the rigid conventions of Saudi Arabian culture, and their battle to be together was finally won. But an even greater challenge lay ahead. After the romance of their clandestine courtship, the triumph of their wedding day, and the ups and downs of married life, Ensaf discovers that Raif is becoming active in the liberal movement. Their partnership grows stronger as Raif works tirelessly, daring to question the social order of Saudi Arabia—until his activities attract the attention of the religious police. With Raif under increasing surveillance, Ensaf reluctantly accepts exile as the only way to protect their three young children, hoping that Raif will soon join them.
But Raif’s arrest and subsequent sentence—to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes—change everything. Ensaf must take up the fight for her husband’s life, galvanizing global support and campaigning for his freedom—and their right to be reunited as a family again.
This profoundly moving memoir is both a love story and an inspiring account of the making of not one but two heroic human rights activists.
Excerpt from Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom
“Aided by Middle East reporter Hoffmann, Haidar reveals not only the harsh treatment of her husband, sentenced to 10 years in a Saudi Arabian prison and 1,000 lashes for the crime of apostasy, but also the severe limitations on the lives of women in Saudi Arabia… Although Badawi, a recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, remains in prison, Haidar’s book ends on an optimistic note, her spirits buoyed by the international support her efforts have garnered. A sobering exposé of Saudi Arabian culture and a tribute to the courage and strength of both the author and her husband.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Haidar’s book is subtitled My Husband, Our Story. In many ways, it is all her story, and probably better for it. It is the story not only of a dissident who falls foul of the Saudi religious authorities but also of the extraordinary circumscribing of Saudi women’s lives and the connivance of their family and menfolk in it…Its value lies in its fresh and often surprising insights into a society few westerners ever really penetrate and which is rarely written about honestly except by those who have already fled. Haidar’s story, the series of betrayals by those closest to her, reminds us it is not just a government, but a whole society, that colludes in repression.” —The Times