Malika Oufkir's story is truly amazing. She and her family spent 20 years in prison...in some of the most unimagineable conditions. It was truly difficult to read at times, but it was so good.
Good in that it helped me to think more globally.
Good in that it opened my eyes to human rights' injustices.
Good in that it made me truly thankful for my privileged life (that I was born into!).
The author of Malika's story explains in the preface that she writes this story because this could have been her. It's easy for me to go on with life thinking there's nothing I can do about situations like Malika's...these things are happening so far away. But if it was me in her situation, would that same thinking be acceptable? No.
So, what to do? It's tough to know. I've signed up for Amnesty International. Now, I recognize that this International Human Rights organization is definitely not without controversy. But, it does give me the opportunity to participate in "Call to Actions" for people like Malika who are being imprisoned unfairly and treated inhumanely. I may not have the money or prestige, but I can write an email of support. If you're interested in joining me, check out their website and sign up...
I was so stunned by Stolen Lives that I searched for more on Malika's story. In an interview after her memoir was published, she was asked if she often saw the family that she survived with for so many years. Her response:
"No...the reason is because of my younger brother [who was 3 at the time of imprisonment]. Each time we are all together he feels so sad about that..and he asks us, 'please I cannot see you all together because each time I see you I am in prison, and I remember the worst moments of our life.'"