Wednesday, 27 February 2013

In The Land of Invisible Women

Nope..this is not the continuation of my haj story even though I was there in the Land of  Invisible Women...haj story still pending :).  I have just discovered the joy of buying books online and having it in your hands crisps and new in a matter of days.  Nevertheless for this book I had to wait almost a month since MPH does not have it in their current collections. Most good and latest books are hard to come by here in KB and often times I dreamed  of opening a bookstore here stacked with all the latest bestsellers....just wishful dreaming!

"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 vividly the shunning and shaming, racism and anti-Semitism, but the surprise is how Dr. Ahmed also finds tenderness at the tattered edges of extremism, and a life-changing pilgrimage back to her Muslim faith." - Gail Sheehy

The decisions that change your life are often the most impulsive ones.

Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong.

What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparralled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her, but also humor, honesty, loyalty and love.

And for Qanta, more than anything, it is a land of opportunity. A place where she discovers what it takes for one woman to recreate herself in the land of invisible women.

As I flipped over the early pages of the book  a paragraph caught my attention, the writer was describing the situation at The King Khalid Airport upon her arrival in Riyadh and observing other passengers... "As I wondered who would be sent to meet me, I looked on at hundreds of Malaysian Muslim women quietly squatting on the marble floor by a silenced baggage carousel.  All were fully veiled.  Even buried in material, each emanated resignation, defeat.  They huddled, eyes downcast, silently awaiting their employers.  I heard no laughter, no muted chit-chat.  Piled like the uncollected baggage around them, they were silent and inanimate.  Yet their inertia was much more than just the pounding fatigue of jet lag; these were women stripped of hope."

Oh my! oh my!  I think she got the facts wrong here..... are there Malaysians women being sent as maids to Saudi Arabia?  She must have mistaken Indonesia for Malaysia and most probably has never traveled to the Far East.  As a patriotic Malaysian I do feel belittled coming across such a description of our women, we in 'the land of endless possibilities' (PM's words hehe) would not resort to sending our women, Muslims for that matter to be maids there or elsewhere. Its not that working as a maid is degrading, far from that except for that maniac indon maid who tossed a baby boy (and he is the same age as my cucu..feel like tossing her too till her bones break!) like tossing a roti canai. 

  I have yet to finish reading this book and yesterday received another package via poslaju containing the two books below... light readings suits me and heavy thought provoking books don't excite me...happy reading to me :)


IndaMarya said...

macam best buku ni. I make it a habit to get a book before I doze off malam2 tapi lately krja kat sekolah banyak sangt.lepas isya saja my pillow dah lambai2...will go find this book .syok jugak kan?

naniasda said...

Best jugak buku ni IM..dulu masa remaja mmg suka jugak baca Mills n Boon, Barbara Cartland etc just like you...I read your past entries :). I can still remember when my elder sis n I compete reading M&B, tengok siapa yg boleh habiskan lebih drp satu M&B dalam sehari..those were the days. Abt reading before going to bed, tht's my habit too, tak boleh nak buang dari kecil hingga sekarang..hehe

hans said...

Best nya. You could still have the time and RM to buy those books. I find that books are sooooxpansive nowadays. Cari buku-buku free je online now. Buku Danielle Steele tu nampak menarik sungguh. Happy reading. I too enjoy light reading only. My heavy readings are left for my pengajians only.

naniasda said...

I always make time for some light reading dah berzaman2 doh, furthermore now can share the reading experience with Ain who is also a bookalcoholic. Kita ni kan from a family of bookworms hehe..

Teh Ani said...

NNti selepas habis kerja n bengkel, nkpinjam, nk tgk perspektif penulis ni dulu, betul ke, wanita dilayan gitu, ikut ajaran Islam, wanita tu permata tak ternilai, takut dia tgk dari kacamata barat jah. Yg kita dilabel satu kandang dgn rakyat asean lain, tu tunjuk, penulis tak buat research, sekadar tulis dari armchari saja.

naniasda said...

Teh..this writer asal usul dia frm Pakistan jd warganegara Britain. Maybe bila Teh baca buku ni boleh buat conclusion sendiri what she is writing about. Kita pun tak faham budaya orang arab ni lbh2 lg kita hanya ke Saudi Arabia untuk tunaikan rukun Islam yang ke-5 sahaja. So to me it is always interesting to read and know more what's going on with their womenfolks beneath their Abbayyahs.

Daiyan's Giant Caterpillars (Part II)

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