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The Private Life Of Islam: An Algerian Diary Paperback – 10 Oct 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (10 Oct. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712650377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712650373
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,208,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘A parable of the reality behind a vast amount of modern social and political fantasy, even in the most developed of countries.' -- David Holden, Sunday Times

‘A real achievement, personal as well as literary.' -- David Pryce-Jones, The Times

‘Admirable' -- Graham Greene

Book Description

'Admirable' Graham Greene

Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Private Life of Islam" presents the story of Ian Young's experiences as an intern in the maternity ward of a hospital in Kabylia in rural Algeria one summer in the 1970s, some eight years into Algeria's independence as an Islamic Revolutionary Republic. It is a harrowing read but written with great restraint. The doctors are all on contract from Bulgaria and Russia, the Communist bloc of Eastern Europe. Both the medical care and the conditions in the hospital are horrendous, and the victims, passive and uncomplaining in keeping with their status in a traditional Islamic society, are the peasant women of Kabylia. Aneasthetics are available but they are not used.
Juxtaposed with these nightmare conditions and the intense human suffering of the patients are the touching if ambivalent personal relationships Ian Young builds up with the contracted doctors and the locally recruited hospital staff. He despises their lack of humanity but does not overlook their acts of kindness and hospitality towards him as a colleague.
The book is Ian Young's attempt to disassociate himself from the horrors of medical treatment in Kabylia at the time but it is finally a balanced first-hand account of conditions in a "revolutionary", ideology-driven third-world state and the impact on the lives of the the women, the most vulnerable members of a traditional Islamic society, of that ideology and those traditions. The book deserves to be widely read. It is an unforgettable experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Or anyone arrogant enough to believe that people would automatically change their behaviour from your good example. Much more likely that you'll get sucked in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely pleased with my book, very interesting, will be recommending it.
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