"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.
Author: Valerie M. Hudson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-17
Genre: Political Science
Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first to clearly state that: "the subjugation of women is a direct threat to the security of the United States." This declaration has come to be known as the Hillary Doctrine, and it was formally incorporated into the first Quadrennial Diplomatic and Development Review of U.S. foreign policy in 2010. If the Hillary Doctrine is justified, then how is it that Secretary of State Clinton never addressed issues of extreme gender inequality in Saudi Arabia? And how has Saudi Arabia sought to export that inequality to other states, such as Yemen? This chapter explores the complexities of the Hillary Doctrine in practice, the realities of pursuing gender equality on the national stage, the strategies Clinton and those working under her innovated to introduce gender issues diplomatically into a resistant country, and other key developments from this encounter and its reverberations across international channels.
Author: Eric Tagliacozzo
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2015-11-18
Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world converge on Mecca and its precincts to perform the rituals associated with the Hajj and have been doing so since the seventh century. In this volume, scholars from a range of fields - including history, religion, anthropology, and literature - together tell the story of the Hajj and explain its significance as one of the key events in the Muslim religious calendar. By outlining the parameters of the Hajj from its beginnings to the present day, the contributors have produced a global study that takes in the vast geographies of belief in the world of Islam. This volume pays attention to the diverse aspects of the Hajj, as lived every year by hundreds of millions of Muslims, touching on its rituals, its regional forms, the role of gender, its representation in art, and its organization on a global scale.
Author: Thomas W. Lippman
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Release Date: 2012-02-01
Genre: Business & Economics
Of all the countries in the world that are vital to the strategic and economic interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia is the least understood by the American people. Saudi Arabia's unique place in Islam makes it indispensable to a constructive relationship between the non-Muslim West and the Muslim world. For all its wealth, the country faces daunting challenges that it lacks the tools to meet: a restless and young population, a new generation of educated women demanding opportunities in a closed society, political stagnation under an octogenarian leadership, religious extremism and intellectual backwardness, social division, chronic unemployment, shortages of food and water, and troublesome neighbors. Today's Saudi people, far better informed than all previous generations, are looking for new political institutions that will enable them to be heard, but these aspirations conflict with the kingdom's strict traditions and with the House of Saud's determination to retain all true power. Meanwhile, the country wishes to remain under the protection of American security but still clings to a system that is antithetical to American values. Basing his work on extensive interviews and field research conducted in the kingdom from 2008 through 2011 under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations, Thomas W. Lippman dissects this central Saudi paradox for American readers, including diplomats, policymakers, scholars, and students of foreign policy.
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.