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In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was really tedious. The author,s assumptions that migrant workers are Either Bengali or South Indian. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Penny Pitstop
Dr. Qanta Ahmed's account of the life of women in Saudi Arabia is very revealing. At times distressing but also revealing a very human and feminine characteristic of the female... Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. R. Patel
A story about women written by someone who stayed in a compound away from these women. Nothing about their lives just a very, very long description of a trip to Mecca and of how... Read morePublished 9 months ago by GK
An interesting story but slightly boring in parts as has been said before book would benefit from a lot of editingPublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
Gave me more insight into Islamic views,now want to read more about Islam and educating women.Published 16 months ago by Ann Jones
Enjoyable but overwritten and ostentatious in style which for me detracted from the narrative. I found the long sections on Islamic doctrine rather boring, even though I have lived... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mrs Frances E. Deeley
I spent over 16 years working in Riyadh Saudi Arabia from 1974 - 84 and then 1988 to 1994. The story was about a lady Doctor and her experience working in Riyadh, I knew the... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Elizabeth Gronkowski
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