I, Nadia, Wife of a Terrorist


I, Nadia, Wife of a Terrorist

Baya Gacemi
Translated by Paul Côté and Constantina Mitchell
Foreword by Fanny Colonna
Introduction by Edmund Burke III

France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series

160 pages


June 2006


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About the Book

The Algerian journalist Baya Gacemi takes a dangerous political step in writing the “autobiography” of a young Algerian woman whom she met through a program for female victims of Islamist violence in Algiers. Nadia, from a small town in central Algeria that has been especially affected by the struggle between Islamist terrorists and the authorities, married a local hooligan whose rebellious spirit she found irresistible. Unfortunately, her husband was already transforming himself from petty criminal to foot soldier and then local emir of the Islamic Action Group. Nadia's ensuing nightmare lasted over four years. As a result of the growing polarization between Islamists and the local government Nadia had become an outcast reviled by relatives and threatened by neighbors.

By 1996, with Nadia pregnant and destitute and her husband hunted by government agents, her parents expelled her from their home. Gacemi provides a human face to the cultural wars that have torn Algeria and the Middle East apart, revealing the roots of terrorism and the impact of the nightmarish struggle of the women caught up in it.


Author Bio

Baya Gacemi is an Algerian journalist.
Paul Côté and Constantina Mitchell are freelance translators in Montreal. They have cotranslated Letter from Morocco, Cry of the Gull, and Deaf Planet.
Fanny Colonna is the director of research emerita at the French National Center of Scientific Research.
Edmund Burke III is a professor of Middle Eastern and world history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the editor (with David N. Yaghoubian) of Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East, second edition.