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

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In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Quanta A. Ahmed (c2008)

Prompted by the loss of her U.S. visa, Ahmed, a British-born Pakastani and self-described moderate Muslim, impulsively accepts a position as a doctor at a Hospital in Riyadh, an extremely conservative city in Saudi Arabia. Since the Saudi kingdom is ruled by a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, women are not allowed to drive and must wear an abbaya, which is a large black square of fabric that covers the entire body. Despite these and other restrictions on daily life, Ahmed is surprised and pleased to find that her female friends and colleagues are able to live fulfilling lives.

She also encounters a very distinct social order that weighs ancient tribal allegiances along with interpretations of what it means to be Muslim and finds that in gender relations and other aspects of Saudi life, the medieval constantly battles with the modern. In addition, this book shows how the western world’s view of the Muslim world as a monolithic “other” ignores the fact that as a non-Saudi, Ahmed is seen as an outsider.

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- Submitted by Melissa @ Central

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