Yasmeena's Choice

  • by Jean Sasson
  • Narrated by Parisa Johnston
  • 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the true story of Yasmeena, a bright and beautiful young Lebanese woman who was imprisoned in Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Yasmeena's shocking journey is a tale of the madness of war, of the sexual brutality unleashed by chaos, and of one woman’s courage to stand in danger’s way to aid her fellow sufferers. This is an explicit, graphic, and honest book. It is for mature audiences only.
Jean Sasson has spent her career sharing the personal stories of courageous Middle Eastern women. Princess: Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
was an international bestseller. It has become a classic, taught in colleges and high schools and devoured by anyone who aspires to understand the Middle East. Yasmeena was quite literally an innocent abroad. She was a college educated, English-speaking flight attendant graced with an unusual amount of confidence and sophistication. She was also a virgin and a conservative Muslim daughter and sister. When Yasmeena's flight out of Kuwait was delayed, it was because Saddam Hussein had just invaded Kuwait. Iraqi soldiers threw her into a woman's prison where the guards committed ghastly sexual attacks and tortured the women in excruciating ways.
After Yasmeena was brutalized by the captain of the prison, she thought she was the most unfortunate woman on earth. But that was before she befriended Lana, whose brutal rapist took glee in inflicting hurt. Yasmeena used her position as the captain's favorite to protect her friend, though she also was forced into a wrenching decision.
Yasmeena's Choice
reads like a thriller. As the Americans and other allies march into Kuwait and the Iraqis flee, Yasmeena escapes. Eventually she finds a safe harbor where Sasson interviews her and records every horrific element of her experience. Sasson has wanted to write this story for many years. But she knew that the sexual explicitness and violence would make the tale difficult to publish. A year ago, Yasmeena's story and the choices she was forced to make invaded Sasson’s dreams. She realized that now was the right time to share the story. And so here it is, Sasson's testament to an articulate, angry, brave young woman who not only survived but who was eager to share her story with the world.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I expected.

I would like to start out by saying I think what these innocent women were forced to endure is an abomination. My heart aches for them and their tribulations. I think it's equally abhorrent what their own families do to them as a result. I don't think it's prideful to be ashamed of your own daughter, sister, friend for being the victim of a horrendous, violent crime. I find it to be culturally and willfully ignorant and grotesque.
Having said all of that, I found it nearly impossible for me to be compassionate towards Jasmeena regarding anything other than her capture and rape. The ridicule that comes from her culture and family and HERSELF is no different from the arrogant way, I felt, that she treated people that aren't as thin, as pretty, as affluent as her or her family.
It was obvious to me that, by the way the author beat the dead horse again and again, that being rich, pretty and thin made her better than most in her own eyes. She simply saw this as fact. I get that she's small, but did we have to hear about it again and again and again? The materialistic nature of the descriptions of people and possessions made it difficult for me to be as sympathetic as I probably should be.
Although I'm incredibly empathetic and sickened by the kidnap, rape and torture these women had to endure, it was difficult for me to set aside Jasmeena's thoughtlessness and lack of humility towards anyone outside of her caste and feel as much compassion for her as I truly wanted to. As a whole, I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for these women, but so much so for the poor women that don't have all of the material things that the rich, privileged women like Jasmeena feel entitled to.
This is just my opinion and my "feelings" after reading this book. I'm enraged actually. I find what happened to these women and what continues to happen to them abhorrent.
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- Kelleefornia

Kept me rivited

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would. It is an eyeopener to the difference in the lifestyle between the east and west in order that we could have open discussion about the story and what women from the east face.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character of the story - she used her head to survive. It was interesting how the comparison was made between the two females in the story.

Which character – as performed by Parisa Johnston – was your favorite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Even though Yaseema was given a lot of freedom, there were still cultural restrictions which would have made her an outcast should her family have known that she was a victim of rape. So sad.

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- Janice P. Swan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios