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From the Publisher
Malika Oufkir was born into a proud Berber family in 1953, the
eldest daughter of the King of Morocco''s closest aide. She was
adopted by the king to be a companion to his little daughter, and
at the royal court of Rabat, Malika grew up locked away in a golden
cage, among the royal wives and concubines.
But when Malika was eighteen, in 1972, her father was arrested
after an attempt to assassinate the king. General Oufkir was
swiftly and summarily executed. Malika, her beautiful mother and
her five younger brothers and sisters were seized and thrown into
an isolated desert jail. For fifteen years, they had no contact
with the outside world, and lived in increasingly barbaric and
Like a modern Scheherazade, Malika kept up the spirits of her
younger siblings by telling them stories every night about an epic
world of her own invention. Then, after fifteen endless years of
imprisonment, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with
their bare hands, and made an audacious escape. Although they were
recaptured after five days, the ensuing public outrage resulted in
house arrest rather than a return to prison. In 1996, Malika was
finally permitted to leave Morocco to begin a new life in exile.