IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN is the story of a western-trained Muslim female doctor (Ahmed) who spent two years working in the top hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. What began as a job initiated by a visa problem, quickly became a struggle and search for self empowerment, freedom and the right to follow her own truth.
Dr. Ahmed’s memoir is a fascinating and revelatory window into an enigmatic world. Like Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dr. Ahmed provides a telling picture of what daily life is truly like in the Saudi Kingdom. She describes:
- How physicians trained by Jewish doctors in the United States applauded and cheered when hijacked planes destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11
- How men and women find marriage partners in a society that allows no dating and physical contact, and where they flee to have affairs
- How Saudi women who are supported by advanced thinking parents and who must wear abbayas with their bodies fully encased are able to defy the Saudi's oppressive rules and mores to become physicians
- How she worked side-by-side with Wahabi scholars and physicians who seemed to shun her even in clinical contact
- Why the religious police are so threatening and dangerous
- How a father grieves
- Her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy
Dr. Ahmed also evokes moments where she finds tenderness and true beauty in areas where she least expects it; at the tattered, curled edges of extremism. The last leg of her journey takes readers inside the Hajj, as she journeys to Mecca with 2.5 million other Muslims to perform the sacred duty incumbent upon every able-bodied Muslim in his or her lifetime.
In the Land of Invisible Women is a fascinating look inside a culture that has become so relevant to our own. -- Sourcebooks
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, author of IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN and nationally respected physician, is quickly approaching bestseller status and, to keep the ball rolling, Sourcebooks has partnered with LibraryThing.com to put together an electronic giveaway of 2,500 ebook downloads of her memoir about being a female physician in the Saudi Kingdom. Hers is a fantastic story (currently outselling both INFIDEL and READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN.)
From October 27th – 31st, her book will be available for download to any LibraryThing member (membership is free) and it will be followed up a week later (Nov. 10th) with two weeks of author chat—meaning that every week-night for two weeks, readers can post questions for Dr. Ahmed on the LibraryThing website which she will then attempt to answer.
I haven't had the opportunity to read IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN yet, but the buzz surrounding this book is that it is very good. BookList, ForeWord and Publishers Weekly have all given this book great advanced reviews; and Kirkus gave it a starred review. I strongly recommend trying to download the e-book and participating in the author chat. It sounds like the book and the discussion with the author are going to be fascinating.
I just happen to have two copies (the actual book, not an e-book) of IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN available to giveaway! If you are interested, please leave a comment (with your e-mail address) telling me what's your favorite memoir. If you'd like to double your chances, blog about this contest with a link back to this post. The contest will be open until Friday, November 7th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winners on the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only! Good Luck!