Nomination: Gaddafi’s Harem

gaddafiCojean, Annick. Gaddafi’s Harem. 2013. 294p. Grove Press $24.  (978-0-8021-21-72-1). Gr. 10-12.

At age 15, Soraya was chosen to present a bouquet to Muammar Gaddafi at a school event.  The next day she was abducted from her mother’s business and forced to live the next 7 years as one of his sex slaves in the basement of his Bab al Azizia headquarters.  Gaddafi espoused women’s rights and equality between the sexes, including having an “elite guard” cadre made up entirely of females. However, his public facade masked a well-known system of procurement and torture of women and girls.   Following the revolution, many in Libya have tried to hide these stories, laying blame and humiliation on the victims.  Cojean’s meticulous investigation sheds light on these atrocities and gives a voice to woman who are still being victimized.

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