Arabia's Hidden America: A Saudi Woman's Memoir by Fadia Basrawi

By Fadia Basrawi

Fadia, a Saudi Arab, grew up within the strictly circumscribed and tailored 'desert Disneyland' of Aramco (the Arabian American Oil Company). This slice of recent, suburban, heart the United States was once situated in Dharan, one of many prime towns of Saudi Arabia, a theocratic Muslim state run in accordance with strict Wahabbi Shari'a legislations. ultimately, after basically short vacations out of the country vacationing relations in vibrant Arab towns like Medina, Damascus and Alexandria, Fadia moved to Beirut, the glitzy 'Paris of the center East', to wait highschool. In Beirut, she fell in love with a passionate and idealistic Lebanese journalist with whom she eloped opposed to her mom and dad' needs, as a result getting stuck up in Lebanon's fifteen-year civil battle whereas elevating a relations of 5 young ones. offering a desirable account of a Saudi woman's painful trip from naive Aramcon lady to lifestyles as a resident of a war-torn capital urban, this e-book offers new perception into very assorted center jap worlds approximately which so little is understood by way of these dwelling open air the area.

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He approached it as an artist to a canvas as he would pull out a soft rich piece of irregular leather, turn it round and round in his hands while he got the feel for it, then finally bring out a wooden shoe dummy and began to construct his shoe. He would cut the piece with a small knife using short deft 25 ✬ A R A B I A’ S H I D D E N A M E R I C A ✭ motions, then pull it over the shoe dummy, stretching it this way and that in the manner he envisioned it be, and as pieces of leather flew and his needle danced into and out of them, a shoe began magically to appear.

The fallout, as usual, fell on the increasingly sagging shoulders of the Saudi subjects. Today the ulema and their Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice are wielding the most power over Saudi Arabia’s subjects that they have ever had over the longest single stretch of time in Saudi Arabia’s modern history. They prowl at every corner of every sidewalk and alleyway in Saudi Arabia except within the walled communities of the expatriates and Aramco’s oil towns. The muttawa’a make sure that no one (outside the royal family) drinks alcohol, gambles, commits adultery or mixes with unmarried members of the opposite sex, or (if you’re a woman) laughs loudly in public places.

As we partook in all the rites of 11 ✬ A R A B I A’ S H I D D E N A M E R I C A ✭ passage of any American youngster – Valentine’s Day card counts, Easter egg hunts, sleepless slumber parties and so forth – we became immersed in a Western culture, which our parents did not understand or accept, and drifted into uncharted waters where our parents could not guide us. This created tense relations between our parents and ourselves as we developed a vision of the world around us not in line with theirs.

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