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No One Takes My Children: The Dramatic Story of a Mother's Determination to Regain Her Kidnapped Son and Daughter Hardcover – 21 Apr 2005
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No One Takes My Children is a breathtaking account of Donya Al-Nahi's heroic quest to track down her children, after her Iraqi husband snatched their four children and fled to the Middle East. It is a dramatic, emotional and ultimately inspiring story of how one woman's determination and spirit in times of adversity achieved incredible results. Born in Dundee and raised in Hertfordshire, Donya came into contact with Islam in her twenties and studied it after becoming intrigued by its strong family values. She eventually converted, taking the Arabic name by which she goes today. A chance meeting with a fellow convert in a street one day drew her attention to the plight of women whose Muslim husbands, disenchanted with the liberal values of the West, abduct the children and take them back to their motherland, usually in the Middle East. Enraged at this appalling severing of the mother-child relationship, Donya vowed to help the woman and began a career as a professional child rescuer. Then the unthinkable happened. In March 2002, her Iraqi husband took their daughter, Amira, 5, and their youngest son, Alla, 4, and fled to the Middle East.Donya immediately begged and borrowed whatever funds she could and flew there to begin the hunt. Reported sightings in Beirut and Damascus came to nothing and she was forced to return home without her two missing children. A further trip with a private detective proved fruitless and Donya's hopes of ever retrieving her children began to fade. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq lead to the fall of Saddam and the so-called liberation of Iraq. The same day, she received news that her husband had entered Iraq with the children. She knew she had no choice but to follow - and nothing would stand in her way this time.
About the Author
Donya Al-Nahi was born in Scotland and married an Iraqi man, with whom she had four children. She is also the author of Heroine of the Desert.
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Disappointingly for anybody who read her first book -Heroine of the Desert- the first half of this book is just a slightly briefer repeat of that. But then the second half of this book tells the unbelievable and very touching tale of how her own children ended up being abducted by her own husband and how she goes on a mission to rescue them from war-torn Iraq.
If you're only going to read one of Donya's books then I would recommend this one, but I'd give both of them 5*
I'm a female myself, but her amazing double standards annoyed me tremendously. The story, on the other hand, is a good one and it is nice to see this issue coming out into the light, my sympathies with many of the other women in this book.
Its almost like a hollywood movie.
I do feel sympathy for the kids and the other women this happens to, however I must point out the sheer hypocrysy that exudes from this book. She kidnapped her own kid(s) from his father, but for some reason thats OK.
I find myself frustrated by the author's churlish and belligerent attitude and the way she seems to be cashing in on a very serious matter which demands a greater degree of scrutiny and respect as an actual issue.
In all, if your a Daily Mail / Express reader, your going to LOVE this.
She blatantly admits to having defrauded a boyfriend of £750,000 as she was 'bored' and seems to find it quite amusing.
He also bought her a house (so she says) which presumeably means she did not have to work too hard from then on.
She also openly states she gave her own and her son's passport to her Iraqui sister in law so she could come in illegaly (because she wanted a better life style), not to mention complicated illegal hoops to bring in the woman's other child later in the book - which included drugging the 6 year old child with large doses of valium (WHAT!) and shaving his head to pretend he had cancer. Surely this is a blatant crime on so many levels??
As another reviewer comments, the hypocrisy of the woman astounds me. She thought nothing of cold heartedly running away(twice) from her first husband, with her child (because she was 'bored'), and seems to think this is perfectly OK.
She also states she became a Muslim, however she slept around with lots of different men after this, which I am sure is not the behaviour that a genuinely devout Muslim woman would do.
And although I have every sympathy for the British women whose children are abducted by their fathers and taken abroad, and I do recognise that the author is acting under good motives, I still think her methods of kidnapping very dubious. What about the poor grandmother on a beach in Morocco with her little granddaughter, who turned round and found her gone (because the author and the child's mother kidnap her)? Surely these stories are more complex than the bad muslim man/good british woman dynamic?
To be honest I found myself so irritated by this woman halfway through this book I felt I could not blame her husband for wanting his kids to be taken away from her! And I am sorry if I offend anyone with this statement. As I said, I do have a great deal of sympathy for genuine victims, but I get the feeling with her that her involvement was all part of a big adventure for her.