Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Suzanne Lossia, American Exotic Beauty,T.V Personality/host and author of The Arrangement. Susanne is of Chaldean decent and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Her father and mother emigrated from Iraq to the United States in the late 1960's.
Norm: Good day Suzanne and thanks for participating in our interview.
Please tell our readers about your Chaldean-American heritage? Who are the Chaldeans?
you Norm for giving me the opportunity to spread the almost
unbelievable story of my life, taken from me as a child. To
answer your question you would be surprised the majority of people
who are thinking about reading my book the first thing they ask is
what is Chaldean?
We are traditional Christians that immigrated essentially to two areas of the United States in the 1920’s from Iraq. The vast majority of us live in the Detroit area because in the early 20th century there was a huge job market with the advent of the automobile construction lines. Our culture dates back 5,500 years to the Babylonian period, one of the oldest existing cultures in the world. We spoke the language of Christ called Aramaic, there are stories of us in the bible. Today we are a shielded culture where families hold secrets that never escape the bounds of our Chaldean community.
Norm: Could you tell our readers something about growing up in the USA?
my life is facing challenges I try and always remember I have
something special to be grateful for, living here. In the past
I asked my American friends what the best part of growing up in the
USA is. You would be surprised at their answers.
Most simply complain about what they don’t have or how the
government charges too many taxes. Oftentimes we take it for
granted that living here we enjoy Freedom.
It is not until you truly understand what not being free is like do you truly appreciate being free. Taxes, work and political struggles then seem not so important in exchange for real freedom!
Norm: I understand that you were forced into an arranged marriage? Could you please elaborate how this came about and how did you react? As a follow up, you divorced your husband. What were the consequences?
Your family lives in a nice suburb of Detroit. Your friends are getting drivers there, meeting their first boyfriends and enjoying school dances, going out with friends, going to prom. Out of the blue in a matter of hours, your youthful life changes forever. No longer will you be the innocent young girl they called Suzy. How would you feel? Like myself I know you would never forget the day for the rest of your life.
Your parents and brothers sit you down. They sternly inform you that you will be moving out of your family’s home. They firmly inform you that you’re now married. You are a child in an arranged marriage to a stranger older man you met for a few hours. You will now be living with your new husband replacing your familiar family. You cry for your mother and father to help. They look at you like you’re a stranger passing on the street. You will never experience love from your family again. You’re ordered to do as they say or suffer the consequences!
I learned over time how aggressive and intimidating of a man I was married off to. I discovered my own family’s ability to abuse and turn their backs on me.
I have risked my life and my story for the lives of thousands of women like myself. After reading my story you will understand the uncomfortable position I now live in to tell the stories of thousands of other women like myself.
Norm: How did you decide you were ready to write The Arrangement and what purpose do you believe your story serves? What matters to you about the story and is there a message in your story?
Would you be surprised to
learn that a family in your neighborhood began years ago with the
arranged marriage? We all know that many cultures throughout
the world participate in some type of arranged marriages.
Since the United States is comprised of many of these age old cultures, arranged marriages continue even today.
Ask yourself why this is probably the first time you have heard about this topic? When you read my book you will learn firsthand why few if any women come forward. I lived under constant threats from both my own parents, brothers as well as my arranged husband. To tell anyone outside of your family would lead to flat out denial by everyone in your community to brutal physical and emotional abuse. I decided to personally risk everything I had in life because someone finally needed to speak out and let others know what is going on often in their own back yards.
It took years for me to gather up the courage to write my story. I knew the consequences I would face because in their minds “betrayed” my culture, family and community. When you read my story you will learn the series of consequences of my actions which then in turn, lead to my downfall. At the end of the day I persevered as independent strong women as a result of my new found freedom.
Chaldeans are very private community, I have gone against the grain of my community to put all out there for you. Americas needed to know that arrange marriages still exit.
Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you in writing your book and how has been the reaction from family and friends?
I knew the consequences I would face because I betrayed my culture, family and community. When you read my story you will learn the consequences of my action which in turn lead to my downfall. At the end of the day I persevered as independent strong women as a result of my new found freedom. Today my friends and family are very proud of my accomplishments believe I have made a movement in my community and in other situation like mine.
Norm: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?
Suzanne: “Your freedom is worth fighting and even dying for….never give up on faith and never stop believing."
Norm: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)
Suzanne: Yes since my book came out a number of women came forward under secrecy to meet with me. Some of them have even more extraordinary stories then mine and the world needs to know what they faced and continue to face today. I am working diligently almost underground to keep them safe while I make their heartbreaking stories public as well.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you?
Suzanne: I was
amazed when I wrote “The Arrangement” thinking I would sell a few
books here and there. To my surprise I can barely keep up with
the demand. I feel bad when they are out of stock and people
like you have to wait a couple of week but try my WEB SITE
I can be contacted on Facebook fan page, Twitter and Instagram as well under Suzannelossia. I look forward to your comments and thoughts when reading about my life story and how you can overcome almost anything in life with enough faith!
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
I wish you would asked me why you should read my book and I didn't write it for Chaldeans to read it was written for the world to read, and woman suffer all types of oppression in all cultures often times woman are silenced or ignored by our society - when you finish reading my life story you will understand how millions of woman around the world feel right now! You can make a difference.
Thank you Norm!
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors
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