Betty Mahmoody Message Board
Melika Turvey posts on 5/13/2015 11:16:51 AM
I first read your story when I was only just 16. It truly inspired me, and to me you're such a strong woman. My mother married a Muslim man, my father when she was just 18, the age I am now. She found out she was pregnant at 19 with me, and that's when she was subject to abuse, very similar to your story. He cut her off from her family, friends and left her isolated. Not only was the abuse physical, but mental, he made her believe she was worthless and not wanted. My mother only found out he was Muslim, when she was 8 months pregnant; he decided he wanted the child (me) to be Muslim, have an Arabic name, etc. My mum was shocked.
Throughout my life, I have always had a fear of my father, I do not call him dad as I feel he doesn't deserve to be called 'dad'. From when I was at the age of four, I was subject to my fathers mental abuse, he forced me to read the Qu'ran, wear a headscarf, and go to Mosque regularly. He used to try and turn me against my mother, blaming her for the way I was, making me believe it was her fault. He claimed that my mother had 'poisoned' me. Unfortunately, I was subject to much more abuse when I was only just 6 years old; this was by my own cousins. I remember telling my father what happened, he hit me and accused me of lying. I never told anyone the truth until I turned 17, where I got diagnosed with Depression, and received counselling. My father, still to this day, tries to contact me, but I will never be able to forgive him for what he put me or my mother through. Now I am 18, I am free to make my own decisions, and he senses this threat. He's always tried to take me to his homeland; Zanzibar, Tanzania. I thankfully never went, as I've always had the fear I'd never see my mother again. My mother did everything for me, and never let me out of her sight. My grandmother has also made massive contributions to my life, and has watched me and my mother suffer at the hands of my father. Everything you state in your book is entirely true, it's like having flashbacks. Now that I'm older, I realise much of the things that happened to me were very wrong, and how interbred the family was. There is no morals. My father uses his religion as a weapon; a simple wall to block everything, therefore I do not consider him to be a real Muslim. My grandmother has also suffered problems in a previous marriage with a Muslim man, who left her and remarried to an Muslim wife in Zanzibar.
Now I feel I am able to openly talk about my past, and I am able to accept what kind of father I have. My mother has remarried, and I now have an Step-dad, whom has done much more for me in the space of 6 years that my father has done in 18 years.
Your story has truly inspired not only me, but my whole family.
ana posts on 4/30/2015 9:41:06 PM
When you have a child with a Lebanese man ... you go straight to Lebanon Register Advantages Maronite foundation Project Roots Preserving our Pride in Our Lebanese Roots
The right to register comes from the existence of a family line through Lebanese men (father, grandfather, etc). There is no single form to apply for nationality. Rather, an applicant must prove he/she is a descendant of a Lebanese man. Birth right
Giving your children Lebanese nationality will not have any repercussions on your or their other nationality. You will not lose your other citizenship if you acquire Lebanese nationality.
You may register your children at any time, if you are living abroad and your children were born abroad. There is no age limit.
Lebanon’s compulsory military service was abolished on 4 February 2005, under Lebanese Law 665/2005. There is no compulsory military service in Lebanon.
USA Embassy of Lebanon Washington DC
Lebanese passport USA citizen
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES US Citizens : In addition to being subject to all Lebanese laws, U.S. citizens who also possess Lebanese nationality may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on them as Lebanese citizens.
Lebanese citizens who are discovered to have associated with Israeli citizens or officials, or to have traveled through Israel, are subject to arrest, detention, and prosecution.
Any citizen arriving at a Lebanese point of entry with an Israeli stamp in their passport may be detained, arrested, or denied entry.
Penalties are often especially harsh if the traveler is of Arab origin or a dual national.
Travelers have also been detained if they have a family name that may be considered of Israeli or Jewish origin.
Travelers who have previously entered Lebanon illegally, whether as refugees or for transit to a third country, may be denied entry into the country, even if they are or have since become U.S. citizens.
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens
U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Lebanon have occasionally been denied permission to leave the country because a criminal, civil, or **family court ***has imposed a **travel hold. For example, a head of household can place a travel hold against a spouse and children in family court even before the family arrives in Lebanon. Travel holds can be easily initiated and may remain in place for a substantial period of time. While the U.S. Embassy can direct U.S. citizens to options for legal representation, it cannot have travel holds removed, even in times of crisis.
Customs: Lebanese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning import and export of items, such as firearms, military paraphernalia, ****professional camera equipment, other communications equipment, **or antiquities.
Just Be aware
Lebanon is not part of Hague Convention
Once your child sets foot in Lebanon civil law rules. There is no escape.
Misha posts on 4/26/2015 1:52:29 PM
Dear Betty , I´m going to read all three books that you wrote - your story is amazing and I can´t stop reading it . If it was just a fiction, I probably wouldn´t read it at all. I don´t understand some people say you are anti-Iranian and that you said all Iranians are bad. You said several times just the very opposite in your book...I just wonder about one thing - in "Not without my daughter" you wrote that Turkish officials would have never deported you back to Iran, but in "From the love of a child" you wrote that they could have done it if you had been caught without valid passports. And Mahtob writes the same. So, which possibility was right? Do you know something about Amahl and your Iranian friends and helpers? Does Mahtob have any children? How many grandchildren do you have now? I´m sorry, I just would like to know something more about you. I would be happy if you answered at least my first question...Greetings from Czech Republic :-)
Anonymous15 posts on 4/13/2015 12:54:41 AM
Betty and Mahtob Mahmoody I am so happy that you shared your heartbreaking story with the world. You are what we needed to get across to people who have or who are going through this similar situation. Your books and movie are so heart touching and reaches the depth of my soul. I can feel the sadness in that movie and can imagine the tragedy and the memories you have deep down from what you had to go through. It was indeed a life changing experience. I understand how Muslim fathers and Middle Eastern culture can be as I am part Arab and been through a similar situation in a way. I never knew my father but when I was 2 years old he went back to his home country because of a war in 1991. I remember my mother told me that he used to threaten her that he would kidnap me and take me to the middle east. Although I never met my father I still had a fear inside me when I was young that he would do this. I felt it deep down it's hard to explain but I just had a sense of knowing. My mother has lived in some fear through my younger years growing up. I found your movie "Not without my daughter" and I cry every time I watch it because me and my mother could have been through this very situation. I saw myself as the young character and my mother as the strong mother character played by Sally Field. This could have easily been us. My mother had a friend that this happen to. My mother's friend was married to a Saudi Arabian man and had children with him and he took them from her and went back to his country and she never heard from her kids again until this very day. I been around arab people my whole life since I was a young girl that is why I value this movie so much. This happens more than people realize. I love my culture very much and respect Muslim people because I know that even though the culture can be very strict I know that you cannot judge all of them because there will always be a bad apple no matter what culture or religion someone is. I am now in my mid twenties and I have many arab friends. I was raised by an arab muslim step father and he was a great guy! Because of him I became a muslim! I love my culture and religion very much and I am happy that this experience didn't bitter you from all Persian and Muslim people and I hope Mahtob can forgive her father in her heart and not hold any bitterness toward her culture and people but be proud she is part Persian because it is a beautiful culture. You and Mahtob will always be inspirational women to me and to thousands of others. I wish you and your daughter the best in life and I'm so happy that you two are happy and can be forever! Again you 2 are truly inspiring and you touch the heart to those who watch your movie and read your books. "Not without my daughter" will always be remembered even many years down the road to come! God bless you and your family.
fatema posts on 1/29/2014 6:21:05 AM
Dear Betty Mahmoody,I had read ur book when I was studying in college and was very inspired and touched by ur true story. A Child Gives Birth To A Mother , and I truly salute you for living upto it.
Am a mother too and am in ordeal myself. I have not seen my daughter 10 yrs of age now , since the past 3 yrs, she is in the Middle East, the ex husband refuses to send her back to me .The custody of the child is mine but she was taken away by her father. I need help o get her back from the middle east. Even the law In my country is not able to help. Please help me and please contact me on my email address. Awaiting a response thankyou
Roula Chidiac posts on 9/18/2013 9:26:55 PM
Dear Betty Mahmoody,
My name is Roula Chidiac and I am a Canadian Citizen who has returned back to Canada without my daughters. I was there for 3 years with my youngest daughter Sophie and my ex-husband had my oldest daughter Margaret. I wasn't getting anywhere in Lebanon and figured if I came to Canada, I would be able to get them back. Please Mrs. Mahmoody could you please contact me and help me in any way possible? I've been watching your interviews on youtube and you inspire me. I will never give up on bringing my daughters back to Canada.
Melly posts on 9/16/2013 1:52:34 AM
Where should i start? with the fact that you were a big part of my life, that your book was many years my bible, joining me in different countries in the fight against fanatic Muslims.I married a wonderful, educated, German man (100 percent german,not religious). After four year marriage, he decided to join one of the most fanatic muslim group in Germany.He was absolutely brainwashed,we could not recognize him any more. I ended divorcing him and fighting with him and his fanatic brothers and sisters over ten years for the first born boy. A story like in Hollywood movies, my life turned into a complete nightmare: Interpol,criminal police,courts of law,kidnapping and more.Instead of defending his own citizen,my child, Germany protected fanatic Moslems. It is unbelievable, what happens in the German system. I am trying to write a book,it is very difficult,because the past comes up,there is no forget and no forgive.Me and my child are safe in USA now, but their dead threats never ended (the last one received indirectly some weeks ago).I would love one day to meet you in person or at least on the phone. I became very strong (had no other option) and won all the battles, also because of your book and your story inspired me and gave me courage and strength to put up with such a dangerous, fanatic group.I wish you and your daughter the best, you helped indirectly and inspired many people. Your were part of my life and you will always be.love Melly
Saba Imtiaz posts on 8/2/2013 9:27:45 AM
Hi Betty,Yesterday,I was reading "My Feudal Lord" and immediately I felt the urge to contact you. I want to give you a true life story even more devastating than Tehmina's. I appreciate if you would contact me in your earliest possible convenient time and help me to put my story on paper. I am en educated liberated Pakistani women and nowadays based in UK.I look forward to hearing you. Regards, Saba Imtiaz
Diana posts on 7/22/2013 9:32:33 PM
I am writing on behalf of a friend. His son was taken by his biological mother on holiday and never returned. He has full custody, I believe she is a citizen of Czeckoslovakia and she enrolled him in school but got in trouble for never sending him and fled. Please, if you could help...he's exhausting every possible possibility and you give me hope. I wish you well and look forward to hearing from you or anyone that can possibly help. Thank you.
A mother of two posts on 7/22/2013 1:13:30 PM
Dear Betty, despite the comments that I read on your page, I admire your courage and the love of a mother, I too left the country the same way you did for the same reason. I had two children and my husband wanted to take them away from me. It was either to take the dangerous illegal rout to Turkey, or stay there and lose my children. I chose leaving. As I was watching the movie, I was in tears because I felt what you felt, I smelled the dirt as you were crossing the border, I felt the cold and heat. Difference was, when you got to Turkey, your problems ended, mine were just beginning.
Click Here for Messages:
1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
51 - 60
61 - 70
71 - 80
81 - 90
91 - 100
101 - 110
111 - 120
121 - 130
131 - 140
141 - 150
151 - 160
161 - 170
171 - 180
181 - 190
191 - 200
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the posters.