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Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Malika Oufkir , Michele Fitoussi , Edita Brychta
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Miramax Books; Abridged edition (Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401384935
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401384937
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 13.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,593,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
From the living room come the strains of mambo and cha-cha music, the percussion and guitars punctuated by the arrival of the guests. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stolen Lives 19 July 2004
Sadly this is one of the most gripping books I have read this year. Malika tells the story of not only her life, but her family's in such detail that it has a huge affect on the reader.
Milika was taken from her parents at an early age and spent her childhood within the palace, raised more or less as a princess. Although she enjoyed this 'experience' she deeply missed her family, especially her mother whom she longed to live with once again. The Oufkir family were reunited but their future was unimaginable.
As a result of certain events, the family were persecuted for 20 years for their father's actions. It is difficult to comprehend who could actually treat people, especially children, in such a way. There are life experiences in this book that the reader simply cannot forget. This is a book that should be read by everyone who appreciates other peoples shocking experiences.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story 18 April 2002
While I agree with the reviewer that the writing and editing could have been better, I myself was utterly fascinated by this story and did not want to stop reading each evening when I had to. True, the faithful family friends are not mentioned much. However, the author's recall after 20 years is astonishing. The fact that she can get lost just walking around the block due to the disorientation caused by 20 years of imprisonment might shed some light on her sometimes disjointed writing style. I highly recommend this book. I have been reading a lot of prisoners' accounts from around the world, and this is one of the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable, harrowing true story 12 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Meet the Oufkir family. This is the printed condensation of their amazing survival.

Malika Oufikir, aided by writer Michele Fitoussi, recounts the plunge from the heights of an extremely privileged, if secluded, life, mostly lived at the Royal Moroccan court, and a life which later landed herself and her family into gaol, in 1972. A drastic change for everybody -but "drastic" is almost a diminishing adjective for what they went through-, including the two family retainers who had volunteered to share their fate. This was the result of a failed military coup against King Hassan II, led by Malika's father, General Oufkir, who was shot immediately after. Wife Fatima and their six children, aged between 19 (Malika) and 3 and a half (Abdellatif) were sent to prison. Deprivations, humiliations, isolation -even among themselves, they were not allowed to see each other for many years- lack of hygiene, food, water, medicines and contending their space with various rodents, cockroaches, scorpions, in the chilling cold or the most stifling heat, inability to see the light -they were kept in almost total darkness-. Up until the day when, 15 years later, with the resilience of the totally desperate, some of them managed to escape, Malika included. The tale of their evasion is chilling from beginning to end. But it also led to the liberation of the others left behind. Nobody could believe that the Oufkir children had reemerged from nothingness, but they managed to alert the relevant authorities, international press and word went out. They were all subsequently moved to a different location where they were still imprisoned but at least with more dignity -if one may use this term in the circumstances-. This went on for another 4 years. And then... freedom finally knocked at their door.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true testament to the human spirit 21 Sep 2001
A heart-wrenching story of a family that were forced into a life of debauchery, deprivation and subjected to the most shocking and atrocious conditions - yet through it all, their love for each kept their spirits and hopes alive. A tragic human story that takes you on a journey that could only live in your imagination - yet this was the Oufkirs reality for 20 years. This story is a true testament to the human spirit. I hope with all my heart that the Oufkir's can now find freedom from within themselves.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A POORLY WRITTEN AND POORLY EDITED TRAVESTY... 18 Sep 2001
This is a book that on its face held a lot of promise. Any story in which a mother and her children, as well as faithful family retainers, are unjustly imprisoned in squalid conditions for twenty years for an ostensible crime committed by the familial patriarch would certainly be of interest. Wrong! This is a tepid and disappointing book, poorly written, and most certainly, poorly edited. It is so filled with contradictions and inconsistencies, as to create somewhat of a credibility gap for the reader.
The story revolves around the Oufkir family, who was, at one time, a prominent, highly respected, and well known Moroccan family. Their story is told by Malika Oufkir, who is the eldest daughter of the late General Oufkir, who was executed in August 1972, immediately following an aborted attempt to assassinate King Hassan II of Morocco, for whom he was the Minister of Defense. General Oufkir's treasonous action was the catalyst for the tragic turn of events that were to engulf the family.
After the aborted coup, the General's immediate family was placed under house arrest and four months later, along with two loyal family retainers, who volunteered to share their fate, were whisked away to the first of several desert prisons that were to house them for the next fifteen years.
As Malika tells it, hers was initially almost a fairy tale story. Brought up in luxurious surroundings, she suffered early heartbreak when, at the age of five, she was separated from her family and "adopted" by then King Muhammad V, so as to be a live in playmate for the King's daughter. This adoption is never really explained, and one has no idea what her parents' thoughts were on this issue. Malika lived in the palace in the lap of luxury for many years.
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