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In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 467 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

In this stunningly written book, a Western-trained Muslim doctor brings alive what is means for a women to live in the Saudi Kingdom. I've rarely experienced so vividly the shunning and shaming, racism and anti-Semitism, but the surprise is how Dr. Ahmed also finds tenderness at the tattered edges of extremism and a life-changing pilgrimage back to her Muslim faith. --Gail Sheehy

About the Author

Dr. Ahmed is currently an assistant professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and Assistant Director of the MUSC Sleep Disorders Laboratory. She is quadruple boarded in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep disorders medicine. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2901 KB
  • Print Length: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks; 1 edition (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BLY772
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I have long been fascinated with stories involving women in Islam and this one did not disappoint! Qanta reveals a country of major contradictions and literally lifts the veil on a country that has been shrouded in secrecy for us in the west. As a women brought up in a very free, liberal and feminist household in Chicago I found some of this very hard to read. I just couldn't understand how women could live in an environment like that where there are completely controlled by men. Possibly because it is hard for people of my background to understand the concept of honor and how strongly it is the foundation to that culture. I was also very surprised to read that this has not always been the case and many years ago women did enjoy many freedoms in that country.

In addition, I was fascinated to read about her hajj to Mecca since as a non Muslim I'll never be able to go. I also loved her ability to see the good in people and her deep reflections on the dichotomy of life there....for example how the men are also controlled by the fanatical religious right and how the inability of non married men & women to socialise and even women being completely covered can have the reverse effect of potentially creating a simmering volcano of sexual energy/tension.

I highly recommend this book. I am really glad to learn about the amazing & strong women in Saudi Arabia that are pushing to advance women's freedom...it gives me hope for the future for other women in similar plights.
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Format: Paperback
After reading just a few pages of this book, I was drawn in. Qanta Ahmed has quite a talent for describing her experiences, painting a vivid picture of her time in Saudi.

The author tackles a fascinating subject, revealing a side to Arabia that is usually hidden from Western view: a people suppressed by those who manipulate religion to serve their own narrow and contradictory ideals; a people who underneath it all try to carry on with their lives like any modern westerner.

And just as you begin to understand and build up an affinity with the people Ahmed describes, the latter chapters throw in a twist that reveals a sad and grotesque side to them, a side governed by cultural conditioning without logic that flies in the face of their modern and pragmatic thinking.

Another reviewer comments about Ahmed's limited knowledge of Islam, something the author herself clearly states throughout the book. That is not important. Ahmed's personal journey as she discovers Saudi Arabia and rediscovers herself will take you on a journey of your own and leave you craving for more. A fantastic read.
Comment 33 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
To get an account what it is like to live in Saudi Arabia, as a single muslim woman from another country, it is well worth a read. I found her description of her own awakening to Islam quite moving, and her experiences otherwise, good and bad, interesting. She does have access to Saudi women and men, albeit of the elite, so can give a rare impression of life in Saudi Arabia.
Sadly, though, the book is let down by insufficient editing. The author is of the school of 'never use a simple word if an obscure one will do' type of writing, which gives it a rather shallow and teenagey impression. Her constant references to dress, style and designer labels unfortunately further adds to that.
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Format: Paperback
This book is both informative and compelling. It is the account of a British-born Pakistani female, schooled in medicine in Britain and America, signing a contract to work in Saudi Arabia. The journey she recounts comprises her work, her relationships, her colleagues, friends and her faith.

It is fascinating to see the contradiction in the Kingdom, from the dust-stained peasant-boys to the flashy cars and glitzy restaurants; from a repressed society to flesh-baring women - the Kingdom has it all.

It is an engaging journey portrayed from the perspective of the author's uniquely privileged viewpoint, littered with seemingly scripted events and complex characters.

This book has gone some distance toward unveiling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the precariously balanced society which pervades there - and as a British-born Muslim myself, I find it refreshing and heartening that another moderate voice has the courage to join in the debate.

I recommend to all those who are remotely interested in the subject - and who isn't these days?
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Format: Paperback
About 50% of this book is and ode to Islam, how great it is, how she is a better Muslim now and numerous explanations in how Islam would make the world a better place. 30% is reserved for descriptions of how handsome all Saudi males are, 15% how beautiful Saudi females are, 4% hospital cases and around 1% actually about invisible women.

The author works in an enclosed compound with only privileged Saudi women and men and mostly foreigners. She has had no contact with regular Saudi women, why? Because they don't come out of the house. All the evil things she encounters are quickly swept under the rug by a quote from the holy book in how it ought to be. There was just a single sentence in the book that 90% of the women there deal with violence. A single sentence. No this book is a personal journey into her own belief system. Nothing more.
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