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zeetha

Book Review: In the Land of Invisible Women

I just read Qanta A. Ahmed's In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom and I HIGHLY recommend it!

A magnificent, eye-opening, and beautiful memoir

I bought this book on a whim, partly out of horrified fascination and partly out of hope. I rarely read books without a recommendation from someone else, but the journey in this one grabbed my attention and never let go. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this story to anyone from the Western world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike: anyone who wants to see an unflinching and yet warm perspective on the daily life of an intelligent and independent woman in Saudi Arabia. In addition to a moving personal memoir that opened my eyes to the compassion of moderate Islam, this book also gives a fascinating historical context for the growth of modern-day Saudi culture. The author describes her transition into the repugnant alienness of a culture that represses women, then her discovery of the secret (and amazing) life of the women who live there. She relates anecdotes that both make you laugh and make you cringe or want to hit someone. She touches on the brokenness and the joy, writing in an especially moving away about her unexpected Hajj and subsequent spiritual awakening. She was the first Muslim to truly bring the joy of her faith alive for me, as a Western (and active) Christian. I loved recognizing in her journey something very similar to my own. I finished this book entirely grateful that she had written it and I hope that you take time to savor this memoir and find your world enlarged because of it.

(copied from my Amazon review)

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