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4.4 out of 5 stars
12
4.4 out of 5 stars


on 26 August 2002
Most of Among Muslims was first published nearly 10 years ago as an account of Jamie's time travelling in the northern areas of Pakistan. Following the events of Septemeber 11 she has revisted some of the places and people from her first travels.
The book opens with the story of some Pakistani men visiting the small Fife town where she lives on a peace walk. I found the description of the men and their mission extremely moving. In all of the book the writing is wonderful, as you would expect from a poet - Jamie does not overload with detail yet conjures up the sights and sounds (and feelings, smells, bumpiness etc) with ease. But this is not simply a travelogue. As the last section in particular illustrates, it poses questions about the nature of freedom (and in particular, the freedom of women), society, tourism and its impact and the future development of such regions. The contrast of the treatment that Jamie (mostly) received in Pakistan compared with the reaction of her small town to the peace march is also startling.
In all a wonderfull read which manages to pose the reader some big questions without detracting from the lightless and delf touch of the descriptions.
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on 3 November 2017
What was the point of this story? There was nothing to learn from it.
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on 21 February 2009
This reminds me of the travel books my parents used to read when I was very young. KJ travelled to really out-of-the-way regions of Pakistan and lived among the people. While seeing things from the viewpoint of a modern and educated western woman, she tries to understand them from the physical, economic and cultural situation of the people themselves. Her poetic language creates strange and beautiful pictures of life and the odd touch of humour too. The strong bonds of friendship she forms with several of the people she meets shows us that there need not be barriers between us, no matter the differences in culture and climate.
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on 7 April 2013
I'm not sure how I managed to miss Kathleen Jamie, I only discovered her last year. Since then I have read everything she has in print. I cannot praise her highly enough, her prose is lyrical, mesmerising and touches you at a very deep level. This particular story is so important as a rebuke to the easy racism and stigmatisation of both Muslim and Scottish people that it should be made widely available in schools, colleges, and anywhere people feel fit to pontificate on matters they know little about. She is a truly great writer - one whose words linger long after the book is back on the shelf (or in my case has been lent to other people to read).
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on 14 September 2013
Illuminating and engrossing account of life in the mountains of N Pakistan, entertainingly and vividly written it gives a balanced view of the people, their beliefs and culture and conjures the harsh, dramatic and often beautiful landscapes. The paradox of progress and change and its effect on vanishing cultures and ways of life is a continuous thread of the book.
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on 23 February 2014
Humane and fascinating, this a many layered book. It provokes laughter, respect and tears. Properly charitable and critical, we are invited, among many events and encounters, to ponder on hospitality, its nature and how it maybe practised and perceived. Excellent.
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on 18 August 2003
The bok starts with several Afghani men sitting in the local high street. What do they want? Why are they here? Are they ... terrorists? No one wants to talk to them, but Kathleen Jamie. She invites them around for tea. They say they are on a peace march to promote inter cultural understanding, which they started in the summer of 2001. Now they feel the hostility arising from post 11th september Britain.
Kathleen knows she has to be a good host and offer everything she can to make them comfortable. After all, she remembers her travels in Pakistan, where taking care of your guest is paramount. She recalls her encounters there, with every day lives passing by. She does not attempt to romanticise their difficult lives with all the hardships of rural agricultural society, but she remains sympathetic and open.
The book can become a little verbose, with Jamie blathering on about the local landscape, but many of the stories here are touching and very human. She makes a real effort to treat the people of that other land as human beings, no more and no less. It is delightful how she visits the same family several times over a decade, to see how their lives have changed. Definitely recommended.
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on 23 December 2014
Excellent book, as are all Kathleen Jamie's. Could nt wait to sit down every evening and catch up on her travels. Wonderful to read at a time when intolerance is on the rise. We could definitely learn something from the warmth and treatment of outsiders by Muslims. My only regret is that I passed my copy on to someone else and when I went to order another for myself and one a a gift the price has shot up due to it being out of print
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on 29 August 2014
Jamie is a thoughtful and incisive writer, whose style is easy to read, almost conversational. I loved her picture of her time in Pakistan. A really valuable account of her time in this area of the world.
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on 29 July 2013
an interesting read; I enjoy the feeling of time travel and the way in which victorian way of life is likened to contemporary muslim life for women in these isolated parts of the world.
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