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The journey shows the strength of a Survivor who braves the rough roads to a thriving success. The story is inspiring to many who need their voices to take the steps to thrive. I applaud the Author for her genuine expressions and style of writing which touches the core.

- Nusrat Ameen, PhD

Senior Director Daya Houston- Legal Services & Education

I am so sorry for what the Southeast Asian women in Birds Without Wings have gone through and grateful that Daya Women’s Shelter can help. Read the book and get informed.

- B. Lynn Goodwin

Managing Editor of and author of Talent and Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 

This wonderful collection of heart wrenching short stories written by two  amazing sisters must definitely be read by everyone. The stories not only touch one emotionally but are so realistic and true that they make one rethink the norms of society and motivate the reader to question these norms.

I found the stories very touching and inspiring and I am happy to say that they do not only make the reader cry, but they break the silence on issues of domestic violence and move the reader towards  positive action against patriarchy and oppression!

- Sheema Kirmani

Tehrik-e-Niswan women activist

Bravo to Annie Irshlad.  Her breakout book about domestic abuse raises awareness to a new level.  And despite cultural differences, abuse is tightly woven into the fabric of  many societies. Well written and most compelling.

- Benjamin Berkley


The entire Daya family is honored to be part of this rich story and humbled to know that we played a role in their fight to remain the strong, brilliant women they were always meant to be. It is with deep appreciation and love that I write these words about Daya’s work. These stories give me hope that instead of accepting the things we cannot change, we must change the things we cannot accept.

- Rachna Khare

Executive Director – Daya Inc., Houston Texas

Birds Without Wings provides insight into how culture and religions based in female oppression sets the stage for an environment of mental and sexual abuse.  Dr. Annie Irshad, and her sister Mariya, tell true stories of South Asian women who are forced to marry men they have never met, move away from their families and sustain relentless pressure to comply with their cultural and religious norms. As each of the women contact the Daya South Asian Women's Shelter, they become informed and empowered to leave relationships that are toxic and unfulfilling. Birds Without Wings focuses its lens into the hearts and minds of these women as they learn how to advocate for themselves and move on to live their lives free of abuse, control and isolation.

- Joan Hicks Boone

Author of The Best Girl

Birds without wings is the tale of birds, whose wings have been clipped by brutal predators, and of the sanctuary where they seek shelter and healing. This book written by the Irshad Sisters details the stories of several women and a few men, victims of abuse, who were helped by Daya Houston.  Overall, this book--while it may ostensibly appear to be about suffering and a sad testimonial to the absolute depths to which the human soul may fall--is a story of hope and redemption. It is a story of ordinary people coming together to help each other; it is a story of overcoming adversity through communal effort; it is a story of how a few tender and brave souls can light a fire that gives light and warmth to several others; and finally it is a story of love that lies buried in all our breasts, which we can also spread to make the world a better place.

- Mahnaz Rahman

Aurat Foundation Women Activist, Journalist

The first time I spoke to Annie Irshad, it was such a powerful experience to learn about her work and the resilience of her existence. The stories shared in this book will bring tears but they are also symbolic of hope, recovery and finally thriving. I salute Annie Irshad for bringing these powerful stories to life through her incredible writing. This book is an absolute declaration of the Immense courage and strength that lies within every woman and surfaces when it’s needed the most.

- Nageen Riffat (Nyn)

Leadership Consultant, Author & Speaker

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