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"Silence is a Sense" and "The Pact We Made" - Shahd Alshammari in conversation with author, Layla AlAmmar
Silence is a Sense
A young woman spends her days watching the neighbors through their windows. She is a refugee who has seen the failure of the Arab Spring in her homeland and who has been traumatized into silence by her brutal journey from Syria to Britain. 

As an outsider, a mute voyeur, she sees everything, she hears everything: the love, the fighting, the families, the secrets, the lies, the sex, the shame. Slowly drawn into the community that surrounds her, she begins to come to terms with all she has lost. After a brutal attack on the local mosque, she realizes she is the only witness to the truth behind the violence. But will she finally speak of all she’s seen? 

The Pact We Made
‘How could I explain to her that nothing in my life felt real? That in a country like Kuwait, where everyone knew everything about each other, the most monumental thing to ever happen to me was buried and covered over? For the sake of my reputation, my future, my sister’s and cousins; the family honor sat on my little shoulders, so no-one could ever know.’

Dahlia has two lives. In one, she is a young woman with a good job, great friends, and a busy social life. In the other, she is an unmarried daughter living at home, struggling with a burgeoning anxiety disorder and a deeply buried secret: a violent betrayal too shameful to speak of.

With her thirtieth birthday fast-approaching, pressure from her mother to accept a marriage proposal begins to strain the family. As her two lives start to collide and fracture, all Dahlia can think of is escape: something that seems impossible when she can’t even leave the country without her father’s consent. But what if Dahlia does have a choice? What if all she needs is the courage to make it?

Set in contemporary Kuwait, The Pact We Made is a deeply affecting and timely debut about family, secrets, and one woman’s search for a different life.

Apr 6, 2021 07:00 PM in Amman

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