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"To be the firstborn and also a female in my country is to be an outcast from your very first breath"

These are the opening words of Adéela's story.  It is a story of a woman who had the misfortune of being born into one of the medieval societies that, incredibly, still exist in the modern and interconnected world of the 21st Century.  Adéela's society, however, is a world controlled by men.  Adéela's own personal life is dominated by her father, Najeeb, who is both a religious extremist and a Taliban warrior.

Najeeb's entire life has only one purpose: to produce as many sons as possible.  A daughter, he says, is nothing more than an "empty useless mouth to feed."  Najeeb's unquestioning mantra for all situations is the same: "It is God's will."

Adéela's mother, Deeba, perpetually lost in the grey and suffocating world of depression, can provide no support at all, either for Adéela or for her younger sister, Jadwa.

Adéela's two brothers, Ubaidah and Baahir, have wholeheartedly adopted their father's cruel and dominating lifestyle.  Despite their religious training--or perhaps because of it--they see Adéela as nothing more than a slave; and an empty receptacle for their violence and hatred.

Adéela's only support comes from her Aunt Zaafira, a woman whose courage and independent spirit is a slap in the face of the whole society.  It is Aunt Zaafira who opens up a new world for Adéela, a world illuminated by freedom, education, and reason.

But to reach that world, Adéela must travel a long and brutal path.  It is a path filled with humiliation, emotional abuse, painful beatings, incest, and the constant threat of an Honor Killing.  To make matters even more incredible, Honor Killings, like all the other male tools of dominance, has the full blessings of their society's God.  It is a God for men only.

When her Aunt Zaafira and her younger sister, Jadwa, are both forcibly removed from her life, Adéela finds herself totally alone in a merciless world.  She now has only one person left to rely on: herself.  That's when her trials really begin.

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