Baya Gacemi (trs. Paul Cote and Constantina Mitchell), Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006. 160 pages.
At the “Al Azhar” Association in Algiers, Algerian journalist Baya Gacemi recorded the story of a woman displaced by the country’s surge of Islamist violence during the 1990s. Nadia, widowed, destitute, and alienated from her community, weaves her own story and those of other women against the backdrop of a wave of terror instigated by Islamist guerilla groups. Her story is perhaps the singularly most terrifying story of bastardized religiosity and a testament to the human spirit. Yet despite the hardships that Nadia narrates, she never asks for pity or sympathy; rather, she is wary of her pride, speaks candidly, and retains a dignity that makes her an extraordinary figure.