Betty Mahmoody Message Board
Marilyn Lieber posts on 9/28/2011 10:13:44 AM
I was married to a Palestinian Arab for 18 years. He is highly educated, Ph.D. in Economics; I am highly educated too: speech pathologist, but I became that person after I got away from him.
What happened is I was forced out of the family while here in the states. He got unhappy with me and told me to leave but not attempt to take the children (11,10,9) or he'd kill me...and I knew he was serious. He had scary relatives who would do anything for him if he himself wouldn't do the deed.
So I had to leave my children behind. Heart wrenching. All three of the children were greatly affected by this, of course, even though it led to a life for them living in luxury, doing what they wanted to do all through high school, playing, probably both smoking dope and drinking, parties -- now whom do they respect? Not me! Their father, but then he continues at ages 45, 44, and 42, to give him financial handouts.
All I can say is I'm glad I survived. I look back and see I was captivated by a dashing, charming 'foreigner' who had a good job and already a good education; I was a trophy wife, blond,blue eyed, and the rest unfolded.
I had wonderful experiences with the children when they were little and we were living abroad or back in the US in a small college town where he was a professor. We always lived well. I never had to work. So I count my blessings and wish for any woman who gets 'mixed up' with a man from the ME or Afghanistan or Pakistan, etc., that they try to extricate themselves from the relationship early. Look for someone of your own religion, culture, and race.
Sarah posts on 9/28/2011 6:15:12 AM
thank you for sharing your story. I just saw the movie for the first time and will read the book.
To Pauline's post I wish to help you. Please e-mail me sara_hope4ever through yahoo. I don't know how I'm going to help you yet, but e-mail me we'll figure something out.
My husband is Yemeni, but part of his family is in Egypt. We both just finished our university educations and he wanted us to go on "visit" to Egypt. When he said he wanted to sell everything in our apartment a light bulb went off. I decided to stay in US with our daughter while he went to see his family and see how things are (considering the revolutions in that part of the world). He's been there for 2 months and he's already told me how he decided to stay there after just a couple weeks and that we should follow in December. So grateful I didn't go and now your story is reassuring me I did the right thing. Sometimes I really question myself and I wonder if he doesn't come back how will my daughter's life be without her father. And then if he does come back will I always live in fear of him trying to take her or us over there?
I sometimes even wander if my daughter will blame me one day for not following her father so she can grow up with him too...
May God help us all.
Pauline posts on 8/25/2011 3:36:28 AM
I am an Asian living in NZ. I was married to a Kiwi but now we are divorced. I have no family here in NZ at all and the ex has put a non-removal order. Although he 'kept' us here in NZ, he is not providing for us financially. We are living on bare minimum and as his lawyer puts it, he is not obliged to provide spousal maintenance. I asked to go back home to my parents for emotional support and a better life but was told that I cant bring my son along. He is not even 3 yrs old! I wanted to go through the legal channel to relocate but am not able to so financially. Here, I suffer emotionally. I get scared each time the phone rings because I do not know whether it's the ex and what other threat he will do to take my son away. I get scared to check the mailbox for fear its a letter from a lawyer taking my child away. I am living in constant fear and no financial support. I hope you understand how I feel. The only comfort I have is my son but when he is away with his dad, I get scared. I get scared that he will 'poison' my son's mind. is there somewhere internationally that I can get help? Within NZ itself, I have exhausted all legal channel...
Diane Hillier posts on 8/9/2011 6:29:27 PM
Dear Betty - I feel your story so much. My ordeal was in Egypt not Iran but I empathise with so much of your story. I was married to an Egyptian man - he was so kind and loving at first - but he systematically took me away from every one and would not let anyone speak English to me. He physically and mentally abused me - and he raped me - he was like jekyll and hyde nice one minute and a monster the next, he took away my self esteem and my confidence. It was awful. I am lucky because i had some good Christian friends who helped me when i finally got away. Just wanted to say how incredibly brave you were and your story will have helped thousands over the years. God bless you. Diane
Kimberly Manbeck posts on 7/25/2011 2:32:04 AM
I had just finished watching the movie based on your book. I can't even imagine what it felt like to be out of your country for so long. You and your daughter are very inspiring to me. How is your daughter doing now please email me.
ester posts on 7/5/2011 6:28:24 PM
I read your book on my flight to the US in 1991. Little did I know that I would experience something similar 17 years later. I fled with my 3 children ouf of the Arabian Gulf. My escape was not nearly as dangerous, but we still suffer from the aftermath. Unfortunately, my family was not very helpful. We are still fighting alone and we are stll scared.
Nadia CHOUGUIAT posts on 6/27/2011 8:21:17 PM
Estoy muy triste de saber lo que te passa....Yo soy Algerina pero nacio en Francia.....tenia el mismo problema en Algelia...hace 5 anos que estoy en una batalla para tenar la responsabilidad de mis ninos dos hijos....me gustaria saber como peudo ayudarte....tengo un monton de informationes sobre agencias que ayudan a personas como tu....me gustaria verte para ayudarte....dime...el padre tenia los passaportes de los ninos????come ha echo para tomar los ninos fuera de Ingleterra????escribeme un mensaje.....me gustaria ayudar si puedo....hablo el arabe....y puedo venir contigo para ayudarte.....
Tienes que ser FUERTE y PATIENTE...OXOXOX besos.....nadia
SueERin posts on 6/25/2011 2:52:20 PM
I've seen not without my daughter many times and every time its more riveting than the next except now I am reaching out to you to see if there is some way I can help women still over in Iran. There must be something I can do? Thank you for letting me know. You are welcome to email me at the above address. I just can't imagine women living like animals with no voice.
Jan Shaner posts on 6/17/2011 11:17:32 AM
I am almost finished reading the book "Not without my daughter." I cannnot fathom how you had the courage to do all you did. I certainly do not have the fortitude or stamina to do what you did. You are a hero for all women. Your daught is remarkably like you as well. Imagine being that young & understanding enough to act like a little adult. God Bless you both alwways. Thank you for your good work. I have to keep remiding my friends that we are only Americans with American privileges & rights in America. Too, Too many people in general think they have the same rights everywhere. While that should be the case, it is not. God Bless us all!
yas parsa posts on 5/25/2011 6:29:12 PM
hello dear betty , i am an iranian woman who married an iranian man. after 14 years of living together he took my son and i to iran and we had the same situation as you had. watching your movie really touched my heart. your story is many woman story but again i would like to have a contact e-mail from you to send my true story to you . i believe it can open many woman's eyes open before to go to their husband countries or even their contries. thanks and may god bless
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