The Pact We Made

by Layla AlAmmar

I found it hard to get my head round the traditional Kuwaiti way to arrange a marriage. But the dilemma 29-years old Dahlia faces to respect her traditional parents and on the other hand her overwhelming desire to be free (after she has been raped by an uncle when she was 15) is very understandable. A very courageous book from an Arabic-American writer, and a great addition to the current #MeToo discussion.


Our lives were these elaborate plays, and we all wore masks. There was a life that people saw, where you were respectable and did all the right things, a life where people thought highly of you and you were firmly set on a predictable trajectory. But there was another life as well, one inside you, a life where you thought things you were too ashamed to say out loud, where you lied to people and you lied to yourself. It sometimes felt like I had put my past in a hole and spent my time shoveling dirt into it, but like some cheap horror movie, it kept trying to claw its way out.


Small Kingdoms by Alexandra Hobbet
The Gates of Damascus by Lieve Joris
Zaatar Days, Henna Nights by Maliha Masood

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