Between Two worlds

Between Two worlds–Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in The Shadow of Saddam

by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund

Reviewed by: Isabelle


This book is a real story, with names changed, of a beautiful young Iraqi girl sent to America by a loving and protective mother to an arranged marriage to a man in Chicago, 13 years her elder. The marriage didn’t last very long as you might expect. Zainab escaped to California and in a chance meeting with an American reporter, Laurie Becklund, and many talks, conversations, persuasions and years later, the book was created.


Reading the history from the time Zainab is 3 years old living in Baghdad under the thumb and surveillance of Saddam Hussein to the time she finds true love and trust in America is a vibrant story! It is so well written that I felt that Zainab was in my living room telling me her story of fear, suffering, self denial, love and hate all wound up in her repressed mind and body.

Zainab’s spirit, determination, fortitude and courage are astonishing. In the end of the book she has started Women for Women, an international organization to stop the global epidemic of violence, genocide and rape.