Book Review

Book Review: With Ash On Their Faces by Cathy Otten

Title: With Ash On Their Faces

Author: Cathy Otten

Publisher: FingerPrint Publication

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Accounts

First Publication: 2019

Language: English


Book Summary: With Ash On Their FacesBook Review - With Ash On Their Faces by Cathy Otten

Isis’s genocidal attack on the yezidi population of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014 brought the world’s attention to followers of a faith with a long history of persecution. Large Numbers of men were executed, while thousands of yezidi women were taken to the Islamic state to be sold as chattel for ISIS fighters.

The headlines have moved on, but many yezidi women and children remain in captivity. Their mass abduction is here conveyed with extraordinary intensity by the first-hand reporting of a young journalist who has worked in Iraqi Kurdistan for four years.

Based on extensive interviews with survivors, as well as those who smuggled them to safety, With Ash On Their Faces presents a unique and profoundly moving account of the privations and resistance of those enslaved by a monstrous regime.


Book Review: With Ash On Their Faces

It’s utterly heart-breaking and it was a real struggle to read this book, With Ash On Their Faces, but it is definitely a book that should be read by everyone. The subject and the content is so important and sheds huge amounts of light on what really does go on in these war zones and behind the scenes of what we hear on the news channels.

Giving the reader a true inside view into what the extremism of ISIS means to the people whose homelands have been desecrated by these terrorists, With Ash On Their Faces by Cathy Otten is a difficult and sinisterly reminiscent read of oppression and genocide.

When you hear emotive headlines in the tabloids about refugees and those fleeing ISIS, it is sobering to read a first-hand account of what these people are fleeing from. A well-written emotional and factual account of atrocities that should not be happening in the twenty-first century. It is near-impossible to review a non-fiction book of this nature for me.

One of the things that struck me about this book was the way it was written. It almost read like a dystopian story book. For this reason, this book is accessible, clear, and easy to follow. I know huge amount about the conflicts of the Middle East when I began this book. However, Author Cathy Otten explains events in a far more understandable way than anything I have heard in mainstream news/media.

“They could do anything they liked with us, we were just like sheep. Compare my case to others and I didn’t go through a lot. Yes, I was bought and sold but in other cases they were bought and sold maybe fifteen times.”

After finishing this book, I felt as if a veil has been lifted up from my sight and I became full aware of the calamities that are happening in Riqqa, and other ISIS controlled regions. Reading Cathy Otten’s With Ash On Their Faces made me feel two things:
Guilty, for every time I nagged about the electricity outages; or not being able to reunite with my friends and siblings because of work and considered these to be a major crisis.
And angry, for a religion has been wrongly used as a justification for such heretic actions multiple times; when actually that religion does not permit the killing of innocent people.

With Ash On Their Faces by Cathy Otten is a remarkable story of Yezidi women’s strength, perseverance, and intelligence; and we should all admire them. However, I think it’s important to remember that there are countless young women who continue to endure immense cruelty on a daily basis. My thoughts are with these young women.

Everybody should read this to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the middle-east while we are all living our comfortable lives.

Buy Now: With Ash On Their Faces by Cathy Otten

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