charley0796's review against another edition

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emotional informative reflective sad slow-paced


Islam gave women inheritance rights and property rights and the rights to divorce and to choose a marriage partner.

An informative, reflective memoir of a female Muslim’s experience being in an extremist land, with a back drop of being a doctor. It’s not medical literature.

This book Challenged Islamic stereotypes and bias I had, helping sift the extremism from truth. I was so surprised to learn the undercurrent of equality in the religion and how women have so many more rights than in other religions. It was shocking to learn how Islam has been twisted by extremists and how Saudi Arabia is trying to fight against this when half the population still doesn’t have the right to. 

Dr Ahmed is not an unbiased author. The first quarter of the book was hard to read as her despise for Saudi Arabia and her less accepting male colleagues coated the pages. This did lessen as she developed during her stay, but perhaps was made through by the bitterness she felt towards her former friends and colleagues who showed disgusting anti-semitism after 9/11. 

I was also shocked to read how little Dr Ahmed new about her religion, how her colleagues seemed to have to constantly educate her. It shows how much she had been distanced by being in the western world. I loved seeing this develop as she told her story of her Hajj - one of my favourite parts of the book as I love hearing about different cultures. 

I have however, marked the book down for simply being too long. Dr Ahmed is an eloquent author, but I struggled through seemingly identical descriptions of ‘beautiful’ women where everyone was ‘beautiful’. I think this should have been cut significantly and made the book about 350 pages, which is much more manageable than the 500 pages it is currently. 
 I was also not a fan of the first quarter of the chapter. I wanted to hear more about life in Saudi Arabia and perhaps more medical chapters and stories than the copy and paste conversations with various women about their marriages. 

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