In the Land of Invisible Women book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In this stunningly written book, a Western trained. In the Land of Invisible Women: Whether or not a reader is familiar with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Qanta Ahmed's debut memoir is a. Read the PDF on your Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo, iPhone, iPod . In the Land of Invisible Women gave me a lot to think about, and just not.
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"In this stunningly written book, a Western trained Muslim doctor brings alive what it means for a woman to live in the Saudi Kingdom. I've rarely experienced so. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This memoir is a journey into a complex world readers will find fascinating and at times repugnant. After being. In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta A. Ahmed. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB.
I eat it up. To the poor, it's just a burden whose "nobility" and "uplift" they could sooner do without. Apr 16, Lizz rated it it was amazing. In parts it reads like a romance novel, and in other parts it manages to be rather tedious for example the overly long description of Hajj. For example, earlier in the book, she talks about how Faris was recently divorced. She holds great hope for young Saudi women in changing the status quo.
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A British citizen of Pakistani origin, Ahmed completed her medical training in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care in New York City.
At the completion of a fellowship in sleep disorders, she found that her visa application to stay in the United States had been denied. Although she had been raised Muslim, Ahmed had very little knowledge of the religion. Through her writing, readers gain an education as well.
Yet, throughout, Ahmed encounters various dichotomies, especially because she is a Westernized Muslim woman.
Right away, her experience wearing an abbayah —a robe that covers from head to toe except for the eyes, which all women in the Kingdom must wear when they go out in public, no matter their nationality or beliefs—was paradoxically restrictive and freeing: Soon I was completely submerged in black.
Turbocharged testosterone without creative or sexual outlet translated into deadly acceleration. The road was supposedly a six-lane highway into the city, but additional lanes appeared at will. Someone passed us on the hard shoulder traveling at least one hundred miles per hour.
I feverishly followed the speedometer in which our un-seat-belted driver displayed no interest. We ourselves were already seventy-five miles per hour in an old South African rust bucket.
I began to feel angry with the driver. I stupidly clutched onto the flimsy scarf over my hair. I felt feeble and increasingly powerless. At last we reached a mall.
From outside it was an elegant glass and marble structure, shining with chrome staircases. It was modern and familiar in its Western design. The al-Akariyah shopping center was inviting, ablaze with neon and fluorescence. Inside, Saudi men and women rustled purposefully, focused on Thursday night shopping.
The paucity of color was striking; aside from the black abbayahs and white thobes, no other color was apparent. Stocky figures were cast into sharp relief against the gleaming marble canvas; black, veiled silhouettes enshrouding women trailed behind the white-clad, plump men who had married or fathered or been delivered of them.
I was entranced. Little children were shorter versions of their parents, small girls no more than six in abbreviated shrouds, their abbayah hems getting stuck in their brightly colored, open-toed jelly sandals.
Their clumsy tumbles reminded me that a childhood was encased within these opaque sarcophagi. Little boys, scuffed and stained, tumbled along in short white robes hurrying to keep up with Dad, always ahead of their sisters, already exerting an infantile male supremacy. I noticed mainly families with many children, three or four at least to every mother-shaped veil.
Saudi children ran amok, far ahead of the parents.
Waddling women hurried hopelessly to keep up, clumsy platform shoes and billowing abbayahs impeding their progress. Under askew hems, I could see Riyadh was the home of the rubberized platform sneaker.
I watched the clumpy shoes carry ballooning sailboats of veiled women back and forth over the marble causeway.