❮PDF❯ ✍ In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom Author Qanta A. Ahmed – Transportjobsite.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 454 pages
  • In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom
  • Qanta A. Ahmed
  • English
  • 20 July 2019
  • 9781402210877

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

  1. says:

    If I could assign negative starts to this book, I would Do you know someone who loved this book Did they recommend you read it ASAP Let me ask you something about that person Is he she a good story teller or do they tend to prattle on and on Ahmed s writing is repetitious and overly descriptive about EVERYTHING I m not sure what her editor was thinking letting the book go to print in it s current condition In my opinion, if the editor had done their job, the book would be at least half of it s current length At one point, while still trying to plow through her painfully descriptive writing, I began to yell out loud at the book Thankfully, you don t have to go through that Let me save you the trouble of wading through the muck and sum up the book in a few concise points 1 She s a Muslim, but doesn t fit in 2 Women doctors are a rarity in Saudi Arabia Saudi women doctors even so.3 She realizes she can learn from her colleagues, at least a dozen times, each time stating it as though it were a revelation.4 The Muttaween are scary, oppressive and spread fear wherever they go.5 She spends half of every chapter describing clothing that she already told you about in a previous chapter.6 Women and men lead completely segregated lives unless they are married 7 Women have no rights Now, take these six points and repeat ad nauseam each time changing the way you wrote them Ta Da You have her book.


  2. says:

    So here s the thing This book is getting a lot of negative reviews because of the quality of the writing And it s true, the writing has problems e.g., the word belie means the opposite of what the author thinks it does, and I m amazed this wasn t caught by a copyeditor, along with numerous other issues But if you can get past that and read for the content, this book is absolutely worth reading, especially if you are interested in what the lives of women are like in places other than the West.The author is a British born Muslim woman, also a doctor, who spends a year working as a doctor in Saudi Arabia It s a balanced account by someone who is both a feminist and a Muslim, who is able to see both the beauty of this country and its problems As a doctor, she traveled in elite circles, so there s not much look at the poorer segment of the population But it was interesting to see the wide range of viewpoints she encountered among the elites in Saudia Arabia, from nasty and misogynistic men to liberal, progressive men who are working to change their country s repressive environment, from women who accept the repression to women who actively fight against it at tremendous risk to themselves.


  3. says:

    Qanta Ahmed, a doctor and Muslim of Pakistani descent, is a British citizen who was practicing in NY when her visa renewal was denied Practically on a whim, she decides to accept an offer to spend 2 years at a Saudi Arabian hospital This book is a memoir of her time there On the positive side, any glimpse of a culture so alien to most Western eyes is welcome even one as unreflective and blinkered as this proves to be.Unfortunately, the author can t write and her editors were slacking off and not very helpful There are some truly wince inducing passages, such as Now I had a reason to contact him I was surprised at my cunning At least one female trait had not deserted me here p 250 or My detection of latent homosexuality was probably accurate p 270 The reader must also endure clunky and strained metaphors and criminal misuse overuse of adjectives.Amateurish writing could be forgiven, however, if Dr Ahmed had ever really engaged the reader or herself on an emotional level I don t disbelieve that she had some profound experiences or that she made real friends in her two years in the Kingdom but she doesn t have the ability to convey that in her prose, which often reads like a newspaper article or the strivings of an undergraduate anxious to get some use out of that thesaurus she bought.I actually grew to dislike Ahmed to some extent In her two years in country, she never attempted to learn any Saudi Arabic dialect she was as dependent on translators to talk to her patients on her last day as she was on her first If I were spending several years in a country, I would make some effort to pick up the local tongue even vacationing, I d want some familiarity with a language As a doctor, I would think speaking your patient s native language would be essential.It s that distance that makes the account of her Hajj the pilgrimage to Mecca less than compelling, even though she oft proclaims what a profound, life altering experience it is for her There s an incident during the journey The maids who serve the richer pilgrims have learned Ahmed s a doctor They approach her one night because one of the poorer female pilgrims is unable to inject herself with necessary pain medication As Ahmed moves through the camp, she passes a group of women so poor they can t even afford the simple shelters offered to pilgrims and she makes this observation In every direction I looked upon thousands of vagrant pilgrims Perhaps hundreds of thousands could be here tonight, hiding in the shadows Yet they were patient, silent, and not the least resentful They watched me without judgment Their eyes, glinting in the dark, didn t contain criticism Accepting their hardships, they squatted on lean haunches for hours, waiting for dawn without resentment or question.This was Hajj.My heart expanded with love In the deep darkness of that night, finally I heard a message I specifically needed Their desperate poverty contained an enormous grace, one which, despite my privilege or perhaps because of it, I sorely lacked Once again, I was deeply humbled. The arrogance stuns me anew as I copy it Not the least resentful Watched without judgment Accepting their hardships How can she possibly know this She doesn t even speak the language She makes no effort to engage these women or anyone beyond the privileged circle of doctors and their families she works with.I m reminded of a Somerset Maugham s observation that poverty is noble and uplifting only in the eyes of a man who has wealth To the poor, it s just a burden whose nobility and uplift they could sooner do without.There are some affecting moments in Ahmed s tale The reactions of her Saudi acquaintances to 9 11 is revealing of the Saudi depth of hatred for the US and Jews in the Kingdom as well as the author s near total lack of understanding of them or the society she d been living in for two years Ahmed also manages to convey is some passages a taste of the paranoia and neurotic misogyny that poisons Saudi society and their interpretation of Islam if only she were a better and introspective writer.A flawed but interesting read.


  4. says:

    You d think that after working for 13 years in an intensive English program where 30% of the students are Saudi that I d know about Saudis than I do The truth is that they re still mysteries to me in many ways This book was quite an eye opener for me because it set apart some of the concepts that are culturally Saudi versus being inherent to Islam I ve read other books such as Nine Parts of Desire The Hidden World of Islamic Women which were written by non Muslims who visited Saudi Arabia However, the distinction this book has is that it was written by a Pakistani British American Muslim woman who went to Saudi Arabia to work in the medical profession As such, I think it probably gives a much fair analysis because she didn t go into Saudi Arabia as a gawker.I think that many times non Muslims tend to lump every Muslim from the Middle East into the same category and assume that every Muslim country is the same as Saudi Arabia I have to admit that even having had Muslim students for so many years and even having traveled to a Muslim country, I ve not made the distinctions I should have between them There s a strong difference between what is dictated by law in some countries like Saudi Arabia and what is dictated by religion When left up to choice rather than law, you ll find some Muslim women who dress fairly western, others who choose to cover all but their face, and still others who prefer covering all but their eyes.Qanta, the author of this book, was invited inside of many Saudi homes during her stay in the Kingdom She learned some very interesting things as she talked candidly with her hosts One thing that was shocking to me was that, as late as 1978, Saudi women were not required to cover their heads in public This requirement came about as a result of the alliance between the king and Wahabis in government The Wahabis are an extremely conservative sect of Islam It s members of this group that wanders around public places as religious police My students tell me that they can demand to see your marriage license and throw you in jail if you re together with your spouse in public without it Qanta went into Saudi Arabia expecting to find Muslim women, especially in the medical profession, who thought like she did And she did find women who wished for freedoms outside of their homes and at least one woman in the medical field who had decided to stay single so that she could maintain her autonomy However, she found great differences as well She was surprised that a female surgeon would be willing to marry in order to be allowed by her father to study abroad She also couldn t wrap her mind around why an intelligent woman would divorce her husband because he wanted a second wife yet dream about becoming someone else s second wife so she d be mainly free with the sugar daddy benefits of marriage Even when she thought she found a western minded doctor to be the object of her affections, she discovered his truly Saudi roots when he insisted on driving her and colleagues over 100mph on the highway for fun.One experience that I really enjoyed having through Qanta was her hajj to Mecca I never realized what preparations go into the journey and that there are so many rituals to fulfill while there It was interesting to see her extremely logical mind be softened by the spiritual experience that she had there In contrast, I was very shocked at the experience Qanta had a few days before the end of her work in Saudi Arabia on September 11, 2001 I really did not expect her intellectual colleagues, many who studied medicine abroad, to react as they did to the twin towers falling in New York City Many clapped, laughed, and said the USA deserved what they got One person even bought a cake to celebrate Those who said that the USA deserved what they got said that it was because the US supports Israel and that they ve not cared when other countries have been bombed by terrorists This brought so many memories flooding back from some of our own Muslim students on that day and the FBI visits afterward.I finished that chapter feeling very sick to my stomach I can t imagine being in that type of threatening environment on that day as a single woman from New York City Yet, Qanta returned later to Saudi Arabia and said that so many of the Saudis opinions of the USA had changed since she was last there More had studied abroad and they felt connected to the world through the internet She seemed to think that if the same event happened today that the reaction would be different I hope so.I strongly recommend this book to anyone curious about Saudi culture through the eyes of a western female Muslim Her experience was probably extreme living in the conservative Riyadh than it might have been if she d worked in a liberal city like Jeddah But I think that s one of the things that makes her story interesting.


  5. says:

    OK, I only awarded this book two stars, for the sole reason that it is not terribly well written But it has some definite redeeming factors that should compel you to at least skim through it if you have the chance The subject matter, suppression of women in Saudi Arabia, is one that intrigues and infuriates me no end, and Dr Ahmed has done a good job in conveying the psychology of living under such conditions It does do strange things to the mind when your every move is scrutinized, when you are forced into a state of perpetual dependency and when even your body is not your own As a western woman enjoying a high level of personal freedom I can barely even begin to comprehend how profoundly such restrictions must impact your psyche and sense of self What the author definitely deserves credit for is avoiding that typical know it all arrogance common among some westerners writing on foreign cultures i.e Paul Theroux, though he is of course far superior in literary terms Very recognizable to me, having lived in non western cultures for a significant portion of my life, is that sensation of enhanced cultural understanding followed by some event that brings you back to square one again, as puzzled as ever Thus the quest goes on, but you never really get to the bottom of it Another nicely nuanced view from the author is her perception of how not only women but also men suffer under the tyrannical apartheid of the sexes, perhaps reminiscent of Foucault s concept of oppression though this is entirely my own interpretation.However, one of the things that bother me is the lack of any explanation on how the author manages to reconcile her own Muslim faith with the so obviously pervasively negative influence of the Wahabi zealots in that country The mantra of their religion is not my religion somehow does not do it for me But I suppose that may be a personal hang up of mine Finally, and on a rather negative note, this book is by far not a literary masterpiece In parts it reads like a romance novel, and in other parts it manages to be rather tedious for example the overly long description of Hajj Overall though, anyone who is interested in the subject matter of this book should definitely give it a try.


  6. says:

    I can t bear to read another page of this I don t think I ve written a negative review before but Lord This author is nothing short of vexatious For starters, the writing is terrible She over explains mundane things which is why this book is 454 pages when it could have been summarized in around 200 pages From the very beginning, she begins to compare everything to New York and is very disappointed by almost everything that isn t Western or familiar Then she rants about the Islamic veil hijab for about half the book It s okay if you don t like hijab, truly it is But she gets so melodramatic with it and half the time it s just downright disrespectful She calls the abayah hijab ensemble a wahabi garb She not surprisingly also considers the thobe Islamic male garb commonly seen in white and a beard as extremist and frightening, I wonder how she would describe our Prophet Muhammad if he were here today seeing as he sported both Basically anyone who is practicing then she is is automatically deemed a Wahabi in her eyes I mean please give me a break, just because someone takes their faith seriously then you does not make them an extremist zealot She reminds me of many of my family members, they think being a modern Muslim entails taking all of Western values and as a direct result comprising their beliefs, meanwhile calling themselves a Muslim by declaration It does not work that way, you re a Muslim, Christian etc by action When the author is not speaking about the veil She parades around with the idea that her Western life should be catered to which doesn t happen in case it isn t obvious Dr Ahmed carries an air of arrogance from the moment she steps into the airport down to the last page I read With her limited knowledge of all things Islam and Saudi Monarchy, she perhaps believes the regime to be Islamic which it isn t It is far from an ideal Islamic country made up of contradictions, male patriarchy and oil money Also what bothered me is that she was there for 2 years, yet does not bother to learn the language or understand the culture She uses her entire stay to complain and compare the life to New York Overall, this is so far the worst book I ve read all year I d never recommend anyone to read this, I mean unless you want to be plummeted with long, dreary descriptions, arrogance and narrow minded views I suggest this doesn t go on your tbr This is an actual line from her book He was handling it the abayah she bought as carefully as if it were a Balenciaga gown It seemed stupid to take such care over the black rag dnf 36%


  7. says:

    Dear Dr Qanta Ahmed Please stick to medicine.Dear Hillel Black so called editor Did you even read it Dear Sourcebooks publisher I ve never heard of you Now I know why This book was just so poorly written that I decided by the end of page 145 yes, I made it that far that it just wouldn t be worth my time to continue reading it If I had to choose one color to describe this book, it would be purple, as in PURPLE PROSE EVERYWHERE Here is the first paragraph from Chapter 2 which really should be Chapter 1 because the actual Chapter 1 is really of a prologue, but I digress I recalled the cold night of my departure only a few weeks earlier Black rain glistened on liquid streets Squinting between raindrops, I peered into the red river of brake lights A blurred boa of traffic oozed ahead I motored onto the Belt for a final time A grim weight bore downward upon me, grinding me deeper into the creaking leather seat Would I ever again call this country home My flight to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, would depart Kennedy at nine My recent past rushed by in the rearview mirror of a migrant s regret It was time to leave America Oh my gosh Do you think it was raining I don t think there were enough clues I mean, I just can t tell And wait, wait Is the speaker GOING somewhere Like, leaving the country Oh, thank god she spells it out for me It was time to leave America That really clears things up because honestly I had no idea WHAT she was talking about with calling the country home, and flights, and migrant s regret What does it all mean _ Let s try this again Squinting between raindrops, I peered into the red river of brake lights A grim weight bore down upon me as I motored onto the Belt for a final time My recent past rushed by in the rearview mirror of a migrant s regret, and I wondered if I would ever again call this country home Oh look, 48% fewer words and it still makes sense To add insult to injury, this memoir was neither interesting nor informative The 145 pages that I did read didn t really increase my knowledge in any meaningful way I was SO interested in this topic and I really did want to like this, but I know that there must be so many other books out there that touch on this same topic and do it better that there s literally no reason to read this.And in case you didn t get it the first time Reading this would be a waste of time.Again There are plenty of other books out there that are better than this.And just to drive the point home Don t read this book ____________________________ EDIT If anyone has read a book on this same topic that doesn t suck, please let me know Also, in case you re not sure what purple prose is


  8. says:

    Description For two years, Qanta Ahmed worked in one of the world s most modern hospitals in Saudi Arabia In A Stranger in the Kingdom , she recalls her experiences of being a woman in a fundamentalist Islamic state.Opening SEEKING RESPITE FROM THE INTENSITY of medicine, I trained my eye on the world without Already, the midmorning heat rippled with fury, as sprinklers scattered wet jewels onto sunburned grass Fluttering petals waved in the Shamaal wind, strongest this time of daySome aspects were fascinating.


  9. says:

    Unfortunately this book reads like a dragged out Readers Digest piece It s largely made up of reconstructed conversations with Saudis during which they tell her simplistically how things work in the Kingdom You see, Qanta, here in Saudi Arabia we etc But she ll present these various cultural situations without fully contextualizing them though to be fair, having been there for only a couple of years in a highly specialized environment, she may not have had the opportunity to grasp the authentic context herself She spends an inordinate amount of time describing in ornate and sexualized detail how incredibly lushly beautiful Saudi women are is this gratuitous overcompensation for showing us the evils of the abbayah The only angle I can say I liked, though I cannot relate to it myself, is the author s rendering of her own religious reconciliation this made up the most genuine and least forced parts of the book.


  10. says:

    Dr Ahmed writes a compelling memoir based upon her two years as a resident physician in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia She writes from a western woman s point of view, as well as from a Muslim woman s point of view, and interjects her observations about the internal conflicts that exist among both Saudi men and women Dr Ahmed comments on her personal journey to Mecca and the heart of Islam, as well as the difficulties the educated elite face as they hurdle towards the future with hopes of uplifting the masses out of ignorance Her insights are perceptive and her writing is engaging.


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In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdomcharacters In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, audiobook In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, files book In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, today In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom e739d 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, 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


About the Author: Qanta A. Ahmed

Dr Qanta Ahmed MD, FCCP, FAASM is one of the top multi disciplined physicians and medical specialists in the country licensed in both the United States and the United Kingdom She is an educator, consultant, researcher, guest lecturer at medical universities and sought after speaker at medical conferences.Among her many honors, Dr Ahmed has served as Diplomat of the American Board of Internal