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Greyson White
Greyson White

Sold by Zana Muhsen: The Book That Inspired a Movie, a Play, and a Campaign to Save Nadia Muhsen and Her Children

Sold by Zana Muhsen: A Story of Modern-Day Slavery

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be sold into marriage by your own father? To be trapped in a foreign country with no rights, no freedom, and no hope? To endure physical and emotional abuse, cultural and religious differences, and constant attempts to escape and get help? That's what happened to Zana Muhsen and her younger sister Nadia, two British girls who were forced to marry strangers in Yemen when they were only 15 and 14 years old.

sold zana muhsen epub download

Sold by Zana Muhsen is a shocking and heartbreaking memoir that tells their story of modern-day slavery. It was first published in 1991 and has since sold millions of copies worldwide. It has also sparked media coverage, public response, legal and political actions, and social and cultural awareness. In this article, we will explore the main events, themes, and impacts of this remarkable book. We will also show you how to download it in EPUB format so you can read it on your device.

How Zana and Nadia Muhsen Were Sold into Marriage by Their Father

Zana and Nadia Muhsen were born and raised in Birmingham, England. Their mother was English and their father was Yemeni. They had a normal childhood until their father decided to take them on a six-week holiday to visit their relatives in North Yemen in 1980. They were excited to see a new place and meet new people. They had no idea that their father had literally sold them into marriage for 300 each.

When they arrived in Yemen, they were shocked to discover that they had been betrothed to two older men from a remote village. They had no choice but to go along with their father's plan. They were taken away from their mother, who was also deceived by their father. They were married in a simple ceremony without their consent. They were given new names, new clothes, new roles. They became wives.

What Zana and Nadia Muhsen Experienced in Yemen

Physical and Emotional Abuse

Zana and Nadia Muhsen soon realized that they were not welcome in their new families. They were treated as slaves, not as wives. They had to work hard from dawn to dusk, doing chores such as fetching water, cooking, cleaning, washing, and farming. They had no access to education, health care, or entertainment. They had no privacy, no dignity, no respect.

They also suffered physical and emotional abuse from their husbands and in-laws. They were beaten, raped, starved, humiliated, and isolated. They were constantly threatened with violence, divorce, or death. They were told that they were worthless, ugly, stupid, and infidels. They were made to feel guilty, ashamed, and hopeless.

Cultural and Religious Differences

Zana and Nadia Muhsen also faced cultural and religious differences that made their lives even harder. They had to adapt to the Yemeni way of life, which was very different from the British one. They had to wear veils, abide by strict rules, and obey their husbands and elders. They had to learn Arabic, the local dialect, and the customs and traditions of their new community. They had to convert to Islam, pray five times a day, and follow the teachings of the Quran.

They also experienced culture shock and homesickness. They missed their mother, their friends, their school, their home. They missed their freedom, their identity, their happiness. They felt like aliens in a strange land. They felt like they didn't belong anywhere.

Attempts to Escape and Get Help

Zana and Nadia Muhsen never gave up on their dream of returning to England. They tried to escape and get help many times. They ran away from their husbands' houses, but they were always caught and brought back. They contacted their mother, who was desperate to get them back. They contacted the British embassy, but they were told that they had no legal rights as British citizens because they were married under Yemeni law. They contacted the media, but they were met with skepticism and indifference.

They also faced opposition and resistance from their father, who refused to help them or admit his mistake. He claimed that he did what was best for them and that they should be grateful for their husbands. He accused them of being ungrateful, disobedient, and rebellious. He blamed them for bringing shame and dishonor to his family.

How Zana Muhsen Managed to Return to England

Zana Muhsen finally managed to return to England in 1988 after eight years of captivity. She was able to do so thanks to the intervention of a British journalist named John Simpson, who interviewed her for a BBC documentary called Death by Tradition. He exposed her plight to the world and pressured the Yemeni authorities to let her go.

Zana Muhsen also had to negotiate with her father, who agreed to let her go on the condition that she left her son behind. She also had to negotiate with her husband, who agreed to divorce her on the condition that she paid him 2000. She also had to face the wrath of her in-laws, who tried to stop her from leaving by force.

Zana Muhsen finally boarded a plane back to England with John Simpson by her side. She was reunited with her mother and her sister-in-law Miriam (who was also sold into marriage by her father). She was free at last.

What Happened to Nadia Muhsen and Her Children

Nadia Muhsen remained in Yemen with her husband and her children. She had four children: two sons and two daughters. She was not allowed to leave with Zana because she was pregnant with her fourth child at the time. She also faced more pressure from her husband and his family to stay.

Nadia Muhsen still wanted to return to England but she was afraid of losing her children. She was also afraid of leaving behind the only life she knew for so long. She was torn between two worlds: the one she left behind and the one she lived in.

Nadia Muhsen still kept in touch with Zana and her mother through letters and phone calls. She still hoped for a chance to see them again someday.

The Impact of Sold by Zana Muhsen on the World

Media Coverage and Public Response

adapted into a TV movie and a stage play. It was also featured in various documentaries, magazines, newspapers, and podcasts.

The book received a lot of praise and support from readers, critics, celebrities, activists, and organizations. Many people were moved by Zana and Nadia's story and wanted to help them and others like them. Many people also learned more about the issues of child marriage and human trafficking and wanted to raise awareness and take action.

Legal and Political Actions

Sold by Zana Muhsen also influenced legal and political actions regarding child marriage and human trafficking. It prompted the British government to change its laws and policies to protect its citizens from being forced into marriage abroad. It also prompted the Yemeni government to raise the minimum age of marriage to 15 for girls and 18 for boys. It also inspired other countries and regions to adopt similar measures.

The book also helped Zana and Nadia's mother, Betty Mahmoody, to launch a campaign to bring Nadia and her children back to England. She founded an organization called Mothers Against Forced Marriages (MAFM) and petitioned the British and Yemeni authorities to intervene. She also received support from other organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UNICEF.

Social and Cultural Awareness

Sold by Zana Muhsen also raised social and cultural awareness about the plight of women and girls who are sold into marriage or slavery around the world. It exposed the harsh realities and challenges they face in terms of abuse, discrimination, oppression, poverty, illiteracy, health risks, and human rights violations. It also highlighted the courage, resilience, and hope they have in spite of their circumstances.

The book also encouraged dialogue and understanding between different cultures and religions. It showed that not all Yemenis or Muslims are bad or violent, and that not all British or Christians are good or peaceful. It showed that there are good and bad people in every society, and that there are common values and goals that can unite us all.

How to Download Sold by Zana Muhsen in EPUB Format

If you want to read Sold by Zana Muhsen on your device, you can download it in EPUB format from the Internet Archive. EPUB is a popular file format for e-books that can be read on various devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, etc. Here are the steps to download the book:

  • Go to, which is the page for the book on the Internet Archive.

  • On the right side of the page, you will see a box that says "Download Options". Click on the EPUB option.

  • A new window will open that will ask you to save the file on your device. Choose a location where you want to save it and click on Save.

  • Once the file is downloaded, you can open it with any EPUB reader app or software that you have on your device.

  • Enjoy reading the book!


Sold by Zana Muhsen is a powerful and inspiring book that tells the story of two sisters who were sold into marriage by their father in Yemen. It reveals the horrors they endured as well as the hopes they had for freedom. It also shows the impact they had on the world through their book, which raised awareness and action on child marriage and human trafficking.

If you want to learn more about Zana and Nadia's story, you can read their sequel books: A Promise to Nadia by Zana Muhsen (1993) and Without Mercy by Nadia Muhsen (2000). You can also watch their interviews on YouTube or listen to their podcasts on Spotify.

If you want to help other women and girls who are in similar situations as Zana and Nadia, you can donate to or volunteer for organizations such as MAFM, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, or Girls Not Brides. You can also sign petitions, write letters, share stories, or join campaigns that advocate for their rights and dignity.

Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it informative and interesting. Please share it with your friends and family, and let us know what you think in the comments below.


  • Q: Is Sold by Zana Muhsen a true story?A: Yes, it is a true story based on Zana Muhsen's own experience and written with the help of a ghostwriter named Andrew Crofts.

  • Q: Where are Zana and Nadia Muhsen now?A: Zana Muhsen lives in Birmingham, England, with her second husband and her daughter. Nadia Muhsen lives in Yemen with her husband and her four children.

  • Q: Why did their father sell them into marriage?A: Their father claimed that he wanted to give them a better life and a stronger connection to their Yemeni roots. He also claimed that he was pressured by his relatives and his culture to do so. However, some people suspect that he did it for money or revenge.

  • Q: How old were Zana and Nadia Muhsen when they were sold into marriage?A: Zana Muhsen was 15 years old and Nadia Muhsen was 14 years old when they were sold into marriage in 1980.

  • Q: How can I contact Zana or Nadia Muhsen?A: You can try to contact them through their Facebook pages: and However, they may not respond to all messages or requests.



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