Author(s): Wendell Steavenson
General Kamel Sachet was one of Saddam Hussein's commanders in his Special Forces, in charge of Kuwait City during Desert Storm, and a Governor in the province of Maysan. Over the course of four years in Baghdad, Wendell Steavenson came to know Sachet, his wife, and their nine children closely, and began to unravel their stories. The Weight of A Mustard Seed tells of a father with a glittering military career, a decorated hero with a private conscience; of a wife, once free-thinking and ambitious, who becomes progressively shuttered away into purdah; of young, ideological sons whose religious fervour grows increasingly dangerous; and, most tragically, of daughters who, in the end, will suffer the most...'In Iraq there was never one story, there were always many stories, layers of episodes, each one a wound.' As Steavenson gradually reveals the emotional and psychological scars left on one family after decades spent living with war and repression, so too she reaches towards the heart of a previously unspoken story of a once prosperous nation, reduced by Hussein's megalomania and paranoia to bankruptcy, corruption and impotence. First publishd 2009.