Professor details struggles in book

An Open Book Bassima Schbley, assistant professor of social work at Washburn, credits much of her current place in life to her now deceased husband, Ayala Hammond Schbley. Bassima has written a novel "No More Lies" in his honor. In the novel, she details his "rescue" of her from Lebanon, where she lived in bomb shelters.

Louis Bourdeau / Washburn Review

Bassima Schbley, assistant professor in the social work department at Washburn University, has not led the typical life of a college professor. Grading papers, researching and writing papers and getting published in peer-reviewed journals isn’t the only thing on her mind.

Her story is documented in the autobiography of her husband, Dr. Ayla Hammond Schbley, Ph.D. He was a drug enforcement officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The book, “No More Lies: An Abridged Collection of Memories and Indignities to My Pride, by the ‘Real James Bond’ ” was published this year by iUniverse Books in Bloomington, Ind.

“I have always referred to Ayla as the “real James Bond” as he had all the traits, special skills/talents, training, courage, smarts, and physical capabilities of such a movie hero as James Bond was,” said Don Stone, special agent and United States Drug Enforcement Administration who worked with Ayla Schbley. “But Ayla was for real and Bond was not.”

The book is the Schbley’s account of Ayla’s experiences working for the CIA and the DEA. Bassima helped Ayla complete the book after his death at the age of 50. The Schbley’s, originally from Lebanon, had many instances where they had to face death while they were living there because of the war according to Bassima.

Bassima Schbley worked on their book in order to help preserve the memory of her husband, she said.

“What inspired me to write this book was my true hero, my deceased husband who rescued me from Lebanon and brought me to the U.S. from Lebanon 30-years-ago which allowed me to go to school and pursue my dream” said Bassima Schbley.

The Schbley’s lived a life that most people would see as impossible, Bassima Schbley was part of this life and was able to see what he had to do in his jobs with the CIA, DEA and U.S. military.

“I was in the capital, Beirut Lebanon, 30 years-ago and I was wanting to leave because we were living in bomb shelters and we had to go into bomb shelters every day because their were bombings there everyday and we had problems because of this” said  Bassima.

The country of Lebanon has experienced many wars and the Schbley’s wanted to escape these wars.

“Wanting to leave Lebanon because of the bombings and to avoid war and to allow me to get an education was a good reason for me to want to go the United States and make a better life for myself was good reason after wanting to get married” said Bassima.

Ayla Schbley was born in 1955 in Beirut, Lebanon: his father was a U.S. citizen who returned to Lebanon after business success in America. Ayla Schbley was a Vietnam veteran and a member of Delta Force, with tours in Korea, Japan and Germany. After 10 years of service, he left the U.S. Army to assist the DEA and other intelligence agencies in their counter-narco-terrorism efforts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

According to the book, Ayla Schbley was a professor in the criminal justice department at Washburn before his death from heat exhaustion in 2005.

“Besides writing mine and my husband’s book, I am also interested in classes and research having to do with the Middle East, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), religious ideas, Israel, war going on in Lebanon with Israel, Muslim issues,” said Bassima Schbley. “20 years ago me and Ayla [Schbley] left Lebanon to come to the United States and I [became] interested in women’s rights issues and have also published a book called “Women and Civil Rights: Religious Authority and Female Oppression in 2009.”

Her scholarly interests include a focus on research regarding culture and belief systems of Muslim Middle Eastern women living in the United States. She also teaches and particpates in international presentations on the oppression of Muslim Women, PTSD in Middle Eastern children, spirituality, ISlam and providing clinical services to Middle Eastern cultures.

Bassima Schbley has many other works published on other topics as well. She teaches a variety of courses on social work and participates in many committees for organizations on campus.