Fasika Sorssa

No Lipstick in Lebanon
  • No Lipstick in Lebanon

  • Meron Lemma couldn't know there was a fate worse than wasting away as a poor teenager in the Ethiopian slum where she was born.

    Desperate to create her own destiny, and drawn by the irresistible possibility of earning real dollars as a maid in Beirut, Meron leaves her devout mother and family behind to join the many other Habesha migrants searching for a better life in the Middle East.

    Only once there does she realise the ugly truth: instead of opportunity, she has found captivity. Instead of freedom, subordination. Trapped and mistreated by the harsh Madame, Meron lives in constant fear – fear of the daily onslaught of Madame's vicious spite; of her cruel and callous daughters; of the sexual advances of her predatory son; and most of all, fear of losing her sense of self... her Habesha spirit... even her life.

    Rich in cultural detail and exposing the ongoing, under-reported horrors facing domestic workers in Lebanon today, No Lipstick in Lebanon is a harrowing account of the unremitting hell of modern slavery. Told through the escalating plight of our heroine, this is not just a fictionalised report of one maid's ordeal, but rather the uncovering of a larger issue plaguing a generation of women.

Paul Timblick (Author) Son of a Fleet Street journalist, Paul Timblick has travelled the world exploring other cultures and teaching English. The last fifteen years have taken him to Peru – which in 2011 inspired his first book, Perune Juice, an autobiographical tale underpinned by humour and history – Greece, Venezuela, China, Spain and finally Ethiopia. Fascinated by Ethiopian society, it is there that he met his wife, Fasika Sorssa. It is her own riveting ordeal that serves as the basis for No Lipstick in Lebanon. Now married with two children, together they have turned her real-life story into a novel.

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