April 21, 2001
Stolen Lives is the story of Malika Oufkir
Malika Oufkir spent most of her life as a prisoner. The first few years, she lived in King Hassan's court, as an adopted companion of his daughters. Her surroundings were opulent, to be sure -- but she was still a kind of captive. Then, In 1972, when Malika Oufkir was nineteen, her father, a general close to the king, was arrested and assassinated after a failed coup.
Malika Oufkirr, her mother and five brothers and sisters were sent to a succession of prisons for the next 24 years. They were, by turns, savaged, starved, separated and humiliated. They had to battle rats for food, and stave off the rapacious attentions of guards.
Eventually, the Oufkir children made an
audacious escape that dazzled much of the world -- they dug a tunnel out of
prison with spoon, a sardine can lid, and their bare hands. But they were
recaptured after just five days, and could not leave Morocco until 1996.
They were prisoners for a full generation.