Escape from Syria
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250030276, 255pp.
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
In the vein of "Not Without My Daughter," "Stolen: Escape from Syria "is a memoir recounting a mother's crusade to rescue her kidnapped daughter from her abusive ex-husband during the tumultuous days of the Arab Spring
In the middle of one of the worst civil wars in Syria's history, Louise Monaghan walked across a heavily guarded border to save her six-year-old child from the father who had callously snatched her from her home in Cyprus. Fearing for her daughter's future under the oppressive Sharia law, the Irish mother returned to her ex-husband, Mostafa Assad, to bide her time until she could escape with her daughter.
Once in his homeland, she too was held captive, locked inside a run-down house with little food and no hope of deliverance. Severely beaten by Mostafa she was even left unconscious on the ground in front of their child she and her little girl miraculously escaped.
This suspenseful account will pull at your heartstrings, enveloping you in harrowing events that no mother would dare imagine and culminating with the triumphal feats this mother achieved. Smuggled across a heavily patrolled mountain range in the dead of night through bomb attacks and sniper fire, Monaghan and her daughter speak to the transcendent bond between mother and child.
“This is a courageous, and ultimately engrossing, story of a woman’s quest to bring her daughter back to safety.”
“In this intense memoir, Monahan undertakes a terrifying journey to rescue her daughter following the child’s kidnapping by her father. Their treacherous trek out of war-torn Syria into Lebanon to safety was suspenseful. But it is the staggering physical and psychological abuse Monahan suffered during her relationship with her ex-husband Mostafa that is the most disquieting aspect of her narrative. A native of Ireland and a successful sales consultant, Monahan was living in Cyprus when she met her future husband. Early on there were signs of trouble: At one point Mostafa nearly killed her—she’d discovered he had a wife and children in Syria. Still, Monahan continued the destructive relationship and acknowledged the absurdity of her actions: “It was a stupid way of looking at life, but I knew no other, so I just endured what I had to, as long as it didn’t affect my child.” Following the couple’s divorce, her ex-husband kidnapped their daughter taking her into war-ravaged Syria. Monahan bravely recounts this intimate family disaster with hopes her story will spark discussions about the rights of women in Muslim societies.”
"An incredible journey to the hell of the Syrian warzone."
"Reads like a thriller . . . an extraordinary story."
—Irish Sunday Independent