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Disgraced: Forced to Marry a Stranger, Betrayed by My Own Family, Sold My Body to Survive, This is My Story Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755318188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755318186
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

This is more than straightforward misery. It shows us the difficulty faced by Muslim girls growing up in 1980s Britain; deals with the horror of arranged marriages and the fall out when it goes wrong; what it means to be alienated from those you love and details the trauma involved in being a prostitute who loathes what she does, whilst celebrating the freedom it brings

About the Author

Saira is a successful, independent business woman, bringing up her daughter alone. Her family still know nothing of what she has been through and names have been changed to protect Saira and her daughter from their anger. Should they find out how she has dishonoured them they might very well decide to kill her.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
i did enjoy this book but it took me a while to get into it, mainly because i think it was so far fetched, but maybe this is because i couldnt relate to any events within the book. I just cant comprehend how anyone could put up with that much punishment from their family and still want to be a part of it.

A lot of the book centres around ridiculous amounts of debts in which a knight in shining armour evenually pays off it sounds like something out of a jackie collins novel! I am not saying its untrue i just cant understand how a situation that bad could land on an innocent persons shoulders.

A good read and the beginning is a very good insight into another culture things that i wasnt aware of before.
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Format: Paperback
An amazing story of survival, all the more remarkable when you realise that these things are happening, not just in Pakistan, but in modern day Britain too.
Saira (name changed to protect her identity) was born into a Pakistani Muslim family living in Britain. Discipline was strict as she grew up and love was thin on the ground. Her mother worked all hours to cook and clean for her husband's family while working at their sweat shop manufacturing jeans and jackets. To the family, Saira's honour must be protected at all costs and her brothers were prepared to kill to keep her name pure.
When Saira met a young Pakistani man who loved her and she, him, she hoped that things might work out for the better, but the mere fact that she had been caught walking with him was enough for all the family's defences to close down and retribution was swift and harsh.
After an amazing escape from a life of hell, Saira returned to the family that had put her through all this - in spite of all, she needed the family, she simply couldn't survive as a separate unit.
As her parents got further and further into debt, chased constantly by loan sharks, she felt it her duty to rescue them. Every waking moment was used trying to rectify this debt and when she lost her job as a catering manager she had no choice but to resort to prostitution - for a family that had treated her so badly all her life.

The story was ghost written by Andrew Crofts and I was surprised to find that it was not particularly well written - at times, the narration didn't flow very well and it was a bit jerky.
5 stars for Saira Ahmed, only 4 stars for Andrew Crofts.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished this. It started off as expected. Muslim males being dominant, very anti women, females in house treated very badly,no respect. So far,the stereotype of the muslim family coming to Britain, and behaving as if they are still in Pakistan.Even the arranged marriage back in Pakistan is predictable. The 'escape' I can accept too -BUT here is where I start to wonder if this girl has then gone on to invent a life,embelishs the story a bit, to sell a book on an otherwise very ordinary (albeit unpleasant) life. The prostitution, working in flats in other cities is a far cry from a lonely sheltered muslim girls life experience, of being terrified of the males in her own family, to taking men on as an escort! Also, a couple of things baffled me, halfway through her life as a working girl, she bought a nice house,got a mortgage, car etc-HOW!? What income did she declare to the Lender?? And her 'rich client' who just handed her £100.000 to pay her mothers debts off-then she moved away from him and married someone else! Bit far fetched to be believable. For me, just another 'jumping on the muslim lifestyle bandwagon' story -and I have read LOADS of believable books like this, with more substance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is about a girl who is from a traditional Muslim family living in England, where violent punishments are a norm. She lives in a strict family, who watches over her, don't allow to have friends, and finally force her to marry a stranger. It's a really sad and shocking story - I couldn't put down the book once I started reading it. I'm glad the author is now living on her own and her family don't know where she is. It's hard to believe that women still have to go through these kind of things nowadays. Highly recommended book for anyone who enjoys reading true stories.
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Format: Paperback
Disgraced: Forced to Marry a Stranger, Betrayed by My Own Family, Sold My Body to Survive, This is My Story

A horrific tale of a British/Pakistani Muslim family caught between two cultures, the Britain they live in and the Pakistan of their family origin. Saira works hard, in the home helping her mother with housework, and outside to earn money to support her family, and to pay the debts run up by her brothers. When Saira meets and falls for a young man, also of Pakistani origin, and wants to marry him, her brothers are shocked that she has dishonoured herself by even meeting someone. They are quick to put a stop to this. Saira is quickly dispatched to Pakistan and married off to someone she has never met, who wants a British passport. The marriage is traumatic, and Saira eventually manages to escape. Surprisingly she returns to her family in England, and goes back to earning, by any means, enough to pay off family debts

This is a shocking story
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