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Biography & Autobiography Women

Stolen Family

Captive in Saudi Arabia

by (author) Johanne Durocher

with Julie Roy

translated by J.C. Sutcliffe

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2023
Women, Arab & Middle Eastern, Social Activists, Gender Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

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Johanne Durocher fights to free her daughter and four grandchildren from a nightmarish life of abuse and poverty in Saudi Arabia.

In 2001, Nathalie Morin was just seventeen when she met Saeed, a Saudi man who claimed to be studying in Montreal. She fell in love with him and then became pregnant, but soon afterward Saeed was deported back to his country of origin. Nathalie decided to join him in Saudi Arabia with her baby, Samir, confident that she would be able to return to Canada whenever she wanted. But a trap was closing around her: her partner turned out to be violent and authoritarian.

According to Saudi law, Nathalie was considered married and thus under Saeed’s legal authority. All too often she was shut away in her own house, a place of hellish poverty. In 2005, Johanne Durocher, Nathalie’s mother, began her struggle to get Nathalie back home to Canada with her four children: Samir, Abdullah, Sarah, and Fowaz. While Nathalie is allowed to return on her own, her children cannot leave Saudi Arabia without their father’s consent. And Nathalie will not leave without them.

Johanne has left no stone unturned in her efforts to fight her daughter’s case: she has approached governments, embassies, NGOs, media, politicians, and more. Although her hopes have been raised several times, nothing has led to bringing her family home.

This book tells the story of her fight.

About the authors

Johanne Durocher grew up in Montreal’s South Shore. The mother of three children, she is now retired. For eighteen years, the fight to liberate Nathalie, Samir, Abdullah, Sarah, and Fowaz has been at the heart of her life.

Johanne Durocher's profile page

Julie Roy's profile page

J. C. SUTCLIFFE is a translator, writer, and editor. Her translation of Back Roads by Andrée A. Michaud was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Her other translations include Mama’s Boy and Mama’s Boy Behind Bars by David Goudreault, Document 1 by François Blais, and Worst Case, We Get Married by Sophie Bienvenu. She has written for the Globe and Mail, the Times Literary Supplement, and the National Post, among others. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario.


J.C. Sutcliffe's profile page

Other titles by Julie Roy

Other titles by J.C. Sutcliffe