The Veiled Kingdom Paperback – 7 Dec 2006
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If you want to beat Osama, you've got to start by listening to Carmen (BARBARA Ehrenreich, New York TIMES)
A searing indictment of a society and a family perverted by fanaticism ... a terrifying insight into the psychology of Al-Qaeda. (TIMES)
From pop music to purdah, Osama Bin Laden's sister-in-law provides a unique insight into Saudi society and the Bin Laden's family role within it.
'A terrifying insight into the psychology of Al-Qaeda' Times
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Top Customer Reviews
My heart whet out to the family especially after September the 11th.
She had to make a huge choice when taking her daughters out of Saudi Arabia , however I truly believe she made the right choice.
This book is worth every penny.
- the european/american (post-)christian West and islamic Iran - and has spent a considerable part of her life at the heart of a third, wahabbi Saudi Arabia.
Her journey is an inspiration.
Life for women living in Saudi Arabia couldn't be more different from that of living in the West. This I suppose most of us accept, but the contrasts are really difficult to imagine. To be veiled from head to foot in exceedingly hot weather, in desert conditions, appears to be non-sensical. However, for those born into and brought up in such conditions, it is not questioned.
For someone like Carmen Bin Laden (half Swiss - half Iranian) who in 1974 fell in love with and married an older brother of Osama Bin Laden, and quite unused to such extremes of living, it became a living hell.
She was able to escape the rigorous conditions by frequent visits to Geneva and by taking her young daughters with her, but her constant worry was that she didn't want her daughters to grow up in the Saudi controlled conditions of a veiled life that other members of Saudi society had to live with, including the clan of Bin Ladens and Royal Saudis who ruled the country.
Western values of freedom may often be extreme in contrast to those of Saudi Arabia but at least we have the choice of how to live our lives. Wahabbi Islam is repressive, to say the least, and it governs the lives of Saudi Arabian society in a way the Western world has little knowledge of.
A very readable book and a most interesting insight into the very rich and powerful Bin Laden family.
Yeslam Bin Ladin was holidaying in Switzerland when they met and fell in love. They spent the early years of their married life in America, and there their first baby, Wafah, was born.
It was not until they moved to Saudi to further Yeslam's career, that any problems arose.
For many years Carmen lived under the repressive regime of Saudi Arabia, with severely restricted freedoms for all women. It was a life that we in the West cannot begin to contemplate.
When finally she broke away, it was concern for the future of her daughters that motivated her. she wonders herself whether things might have been different had she had sons instead.
This is Carmen's very personal account of her life behind the scenes in a country that has such different attitudes to ours, influenced heavily by an extreme form of Islam.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Inside view of women's life in Saudi Arabia and how the author managed to escape ftom it with her daughters so that they would know freedom.Published on 6 Nov. 2013 by Edith Brown
I read this book when it first came out in 2005, and again today and realise how exaggerated it is. Carmen's hatred for the 'Bin Laden' clan is all 'talk'. Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2012 by FashionBoy
This is the autobiography of a half Swiss, half Persian woman who fell in love with, and married, a member of the large Bin Laden clan, with whom she had three daughters. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2012 by Mac McAleer
This book gives a unique insight into the social background that created the 9/11 horror. Carmen, married to Osama's brother, lifts the lid off the life of the wealthy Moslem... Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2011 by Evelyn