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  • John Murray
  • John Murray


Sameem Ali

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Pakistan, Biography: general, Autobiography: general, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival, Prose: non-fiction

I was abused and forced to marry

I was pregnant at thirteen

When I escaped my brother tried to kidnap me . . .

Abandoned by her parents, Sameem Ali spent six and a half years growing up in a children's home. When she was told that her family wanted to take her back she couldn't wait to start her new life with them. Instead, she returned to a dirty house where she was subjected to endless chores. Her mother began to beat her and her unhappiness drove her to self-harm. So Sameem was excited when she boarded a plane with her mother to visit Pakistan for the first time. It was only after they arrived in her family's village that she realised she wasn't there on holiday.

Aged just thirteen, Sameem was forced to marry a complete stranger. When pregnant, two months later, she was made to return to Glasgow where she suffered further abuse from her family.

After finding true love, Sameem fled the violence at home and escaped to Manchester with her young son. She believed she had put her horrific experiences behind her, but was unprepared for the consequences of violating her family's honour . . . Belonging is the shocking true story of Sameem's struggle to break free from her past and fight back against her upbringing.

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Praise for Belonging

  • The very real threat of an honour killing. Misery rating 4 stars - Eve

  • In Belonging, Sameem Ali describes her experience of forced marriage, a subject that is rarely written about by those who have been involved in it. It is a powerful and courageous account and offers a unique perspective on this important issue - Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, Co-Chairman of the HM Government's working group on forced marriage 2001

  • Sam Ali's story is a moving, human one which puts a real person into the often sensationalised media story of forced marriage. Sam has told her own life story in a way which will evoke variously, sympathy and sadness from people from all backgrounds. - Tony Lloyd MP, Manchester Central

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Sameem Ali

Sameem Ali lives in Manchester with her husband and two sons. She is active in local politics and is a councillor for Moss Side, Manchester. She also speaks openly about forced marriage at government conferences. Find out more at

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