The Abduction (Paperback)
Winner of an Albertine and FACE Foundation grant.
The Abduction details the terror and sorrow surrounding the abduction of Maram Al-Masri's only child by her then husband who fled to Syria, where due to the patriarchal nature of society and the social/political problems she was unable to fight for custody.The Abduction refers to an autobiographical event in Maram Al-Masri's life. When, as a young Arab woman living in France, she decides to separate from her husband with whom she has a child, the father kidnaps the baby and returns to Syria. Al-Masri won't see her son for thirteen years. This is the story of a woman denied the basic right to raise her child.
These are haunting, spellbinding poems of love, despair, and hope, a delicate, profound and powerful book on intimacy, a mother's rights, war, exile, and freedom. Maram Al-Masri embodies the voice of all parents, who one day, for whatever the reason, have been forcibly separated from their loved ones. She writes about the status of women, seeking to reconcile her role as a mother with her writing work. The terrible war that has devastated her native country since 2011 has painfully affected her.
Also included in The Abduction is The Bread of Letters, comprised of two poems addressing the act of writing: "Isn't the act of writing / an outrageous act in itself? Writing / is getting to know / one's innermost thoughts. / Yes, I am scandalous / because I show my truth and my nakedness of woman. / Yes I am scandalous / because I scream my pain and my hope, / my desire, my hunger and my thirst." For Al-Masri, writing is a vital and deeply human need: "When I write what I feel, I'm afraid of nothing. Poetry is my freedom and touches me where it lands most deeply. It offers me life vibration, the flush of a river, where feet and dreams meet." The Guardian described her as "a love poet whose verse spares no truth of love's joys and mercilessness."