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In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

by

In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Dr. Qanta Ahmed is a Pakistani Muslim woman raised in London and trained in four medical specialties in the United States. This is her personal two year quest and journey deep into the Islamic world of Saudi Arabia, where she lived and worked as a doctor, practicing and operating in one of Riyad's modern and advanced new hospitals. There she experiences and observes the customs, traditions, and often oppressive practices in one of the worlds most oppressive societies. She treated Bedouin men and women, their sun blasted faces just as Lawrence looked upon, as well as a coterie of Saudi scions, sky high on coke. It is there that women are made invisible, dressed in abbayahs, black dresses that cover them so that only their eyes are visible through the slits of their veiled faces.

She vividly evokes a world where women are not only not allowed to drive, but are not permitted to wear seatbelts because they make their breasts more prominent. Nor can women shop alone, and when they visit stores that sell the products of Victoria's Secret all the people they encounter are men. She meets the religious police, the mottawas, clerics who are appointed by the Committee for the Protection against Vice and the Promotion of Virtue, who patrol every public place legislating segregation and prayer. She works side by side with Wahabi scholars, physicians who seem to shun her even in clinical contact. She tells about her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy, and even meets a Holocaust denier, a brilliant US trained physician.

In the meantime, she describes medicine more exotic than she could ever imagine. Repeatedly, too, she finds beauty and tenderness where and when shewould least expect it: at the tattered, curled edges of extremism, with resilient humanity within other Saudis, both men and women. And finally, she goes on a Hajj, and journeys to Mecca with 2.5 million other Muslims, a pilgrimage required by every able-bodied Muslim in his or her lifetime. The journey is life changing for her and her commitment to the Muslim faith. Just as Azar Nafisi brings alive what it means to live in Iran in Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dr. Ahmed reveals the mysteries that shroud the exotic and strange world of Saudi Arabia.

Review:

"This memoir is a journey into a complex world readers will find fascinating and at times repugnant. After being denied a visa to remain in the U.S., British-born Ahmed, a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin, takes advantage of an opportunity, before 9/11, to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia. She discovers her new environment is defined by schizophrenic contrasts that create an 'absurd clamorous clash of modern and medieval.... It never became less arresting to behold.' Ahmed's introduction to her new environment is shocking. Her first patient is an elderly Bedouin woman. Though naked on the operating table, she still is required by custom to have her face concealed with a veil under which numerous hoses snake their way to hissing machines. Everyday life is laced with bizarre situations created by the rabid puritanical orthodoxy that among other requirements forbids women to wear seat belts because it results in their breasts being more defined, and oppresses Saudi men as much as women by its archaic rules. At times the narrative is burdened with Ahmed's descriptions of the physical characteristics of individuals and the luxurious adornments of their homes but this minor flaw is easily overlooked in exchange for the intimate introduction to a world most readers will never know. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

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

Synopsis:

Dr. Ahmed is a Pakistani Muslim woman raised in London and trained in four medical specialties in the United States. This is the memoir of her personal two-year quest and journey deep into the Islamic world of Saudi Arabia, where she lived and worked as a doctor.

Synopsis:

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781402210877
Author:
Ahmed, Qanta
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Author:
Ahmed
Author:
Ahmed, Qanta A.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Medical - Physicians
Subject:
Women
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
Women in medicine
Subject:
Women physicians
Subject:
Ahmed, Qanta
Subject:
Women physicians - Islamic countries
Subject:
Biography/Medical
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
454
Dimensions:
8.80x5.90x1.20 in. 1.40 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Medical
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Middle East » Arabian Peninsula
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 454 pages Sourcebooks - English 9781402210877 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This memoir is a journey into a complex world readers will find fascinating and at times repugnant. After being denied a visa to remain in the U.S., British-born Ahmed, a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin, takes advantage of an opportunity, before 9/11, to practice medicine in Saudi Arabia. She discovers her new environment is defined by schizophrenic contrasts that create an 'absurd clamorous clash of modern and medieval.... It never became less arresting to behold.' Ahmed's introduction to her new environment is shocking. Her first patient is an elderly Bedouin woman. Though naked on the operating table, she still is required by custom to have her face concealed with a veil under which numerous hoses snake their way to hissing machines. Everyday life is laced with bizarre situations created by the rabid puritanical orthodoxy that among other requirements forbids women to wear seat belts because it results in their breasts being more defined, and oppresses Saudi men as much as women by its archaic rules. At times the narrative is burdened with Ahmed's descriptions of the physical characteristics of individuals and the luxurious adornments of their homes but this minor flaw is easily overlooked in exchange for the intimate introduction to a world most readers will never know. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The decisions that change your life are often the most impulsive ones.
"Synopsis" by , Dr. Ahmed is a Pakistani Muslim woman raised in London and trained in four medical specialties in the United States. This is the memoir of her personal two-year quest and journey deep into the Islamic world of Saudi Arabia, where she lived and worked as a doctor.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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