Claire Vajou

Publication date : August 26, 2010

Claire Vajou, a graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale, has an agrégation in Classics. She is a translator from Russian.

“After fifteen years of indoctrination, it is very difficult for me to think for myself, and my references are no longer the same as yours. If you met me in the street, you would not even talk to me, you would take me for an Islamic fanatic. I’m actually dressed like one, in an all-black floor-length robe. My veil covers my forehead down to my eyebrows, and my cheeks and chin. Only a narrow triangle of my face remains visible: eyes, nose and mouth. In Greece, no one notices me because this is how Orthodox nuns have dressed since the fifth century.
“Why did an apparently cultured girl, of normal intelligence and endowed with initiative and reason, find herself unable to escape such a trap for fifteen years? It must seem unbelievable to you. The drama is that even I don’t know the answer,” writes Claire Vajou.

• A testimonial that is as unbelievable as it is distressing, underpinned by superb writing.

• A disturbing warning against sectarian excesses.