The primary question raised by "Jadwa's Story" is this.  What is it like to be a young girl growing up in a repressive, extremist, and male-dominated society; a society in which all females, both young and old, have only one purpose in life?  That purpose is to do whatever the males in her family tell her to do.  And in Jadwa's family, she is the only female.

     Her father Haamid is a violent man who is devoted to two things: serving his own extreme version of Allah, and doing whatever his local Imam tells him to do.  Haamid is barely aware he has a daughter, and fervently wishes he didn't.

     Jadwa's life is filled with questions.  What happened to her mother?  Where does her father go when he and the Imam disappear for days at a time?  And how can she maintain her new friendship with a girl named Najya when Najya and her family are seen by the whole community as infidels worthy of death and bound for the eternal fires of hell.

     Jadwa also has other more personal issues.  How can she learn to be a woman in a family that has no women?  Who can help her understand the many physical and emotional changes that are going on in her young body?  And who will give her the affection and the protection that every young girl everywhere needs?

    Jadwa's central issue, however, is her desperate need for a real father, someone who realizes she is not just a faceless shadow.  She is a real person--a person with feelings, needs, hopes, and dreams.

     In her secret diary, Jadwa explores all of these issues and arrives at a solution that is sure to touch the heart of every reader.


     "Jadwa's Story" is as current as the latest terrorist headline and as poignant as a starving child.  In this case, the starving child is Jadwa herself, the narrator and central figure in this story.  What she is starving for is acceptance, understanding, and most of all, love.