La Prisonniere

La Prisonniere

Book - 2000
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Malika Oufkir has been a prisoner for virtually her whole life. Born into a proud Berber family in 1953, the eldest daughter of the King of Morocco's closest aide, Malika was adopted by Mohammed V as a royal ward and brought to live in the palace at Rabat to be a companion to his favourite little daughter. There she grew up locked away among the royal wives and concubines of the King's harem. After the old king died his successor Hassan II took over the role of her affectionate adoptive father. By the time she was allowed to leave the palace at the age of sixteen, she was one of the most eligible heiresses in the kingdom, and tasted a couple of years of heady freedom amongst the international jetset.

But in 1972, when Malika was eighteen, her father, General Oufkir, was arrested after an attempt to assassinate the king, and summarily executed. Malika, her beautiful mother and her five brothers and sisters - the youngest of whom was barely three years old - were thrown into a remote desert jail by the man Malika had only known as a loving surrogate father. The family was kept locked away without any communication with the outside world in increasingly barbaric and inhumane conditions, fighting a daily battle against malnutrition, disease, loneliness and despair. Then, after fifteen years of imprisonment, the last ten years of which they were locked up in solitary cells, the Oufkir children managed an audacious escape. Recaptured after five days, the public hue and cry created by their escape ensured that they were then submitted to house arrest rather than prison - but it was only in 1996, after her younger sister managed to flee the country, that Malika, robbed of the best years of her life, was allowed to leave Morocco and start a new life in France.

Publisher: London, Eng. ; Toronto : Doubleday, 2000.
ISBN: 9780385601634
0385601638
Characteristics: 293 pages, [8] pages of plates :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Fitoussi, Michèle

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j
jalger
Aug 12, 2008

UNBELIEVABLE true story! Would read again.

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