My guest this week Amani Haydar is a writer and artist. Her story is one of unimaginable pain and also triumph in the face of the murder of her mother Salwa Haydar at the hands of her father and the loss of her grandmother Teta who was murdered in the 2006 war in Lebanon. Her book The Mother Wound recounts in stunning prose the story of 3 women whose lives have been forever changed by violence. She is now a domestic violence advocate, award winning author and painter living in Sydney.

As Amani will tell you today the attack and her mother’s devastating loss was completely shocking and unexpected. However in hindsight and with the language and education around emotional abuse and coercive control she has now she can see there were red flags throughout her mother’s life that led to this moment.

So much of what we discuss today is difficult however there is also so much to be celebrated in the incredibly vibrant artwork that Amani creates. Her self portrait where she is holding a picture of her mother Salwa holding a photo of her own mother that was taken by the Fairfax Press has now become an iconic image symbolising the enormous grief and loss she and so many women have suffered at the hands of their abusers.

For more from Amani you can head to her instagram page @amanihaydar or visit

For more from Claire you can head to or @clairetonti on instagram

You can email the show at [email protected]

If this episode has brought anything up for you please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or for family violence support you can contact 1800 RESPECT ( 1800 737 732)

Show credits:

Editing – RAW Collings and Claire Tonti

Theme music – Avocado Junkie