Congratulations to Weam Namou, DWW’s vice president! Her latest book, The Great American Family, just won the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award.
Born in Iraq, Weam grew up a Christian in the Muslim-majority country and endured Sadamm Hussein’s totalitarian regime. When she was a child, she and her family immigrated to America for a better life.
One day, a family approached the now-grown Namou to write a story about their daughter, Dawn Hanna, who was accused of conspiring to broker telecommunication equipment to Iraq during the sanctions. Unbeknownst to Dawn and the jury which tried her, her co-conspirator was actually a CIA operative. The project was sponsored by the United States to listen in on Saddam and his men.
“We came here for America’s freedoms,” Weam Namou writes. “As an immigrant, I saw through the Dawn Hanna case how we are losing the very things we came here for.”
Namou was drawn to this story and decided to write about it as a cautionary tale. Through the lens of a single case, she touches on a number of important issues that are robbing American families from living the American dream: a criminal justice system that is based on greed and profit; big lies that lead to wars, sanctions, terrorism and other costly consequences; a democracy that is based on double standards.