❮KINDLE❯ ✿ Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women Author Geraldine Brooks – Saudionline.co.uk


Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women quotes Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, litcharts Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, symbolism Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, summary shmoop Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women 57813931 With A New AfterwordAs A Prizewinning Foreign Correspondent For The Wall Street Journal, Geraldine Brooks Spent Six Years Covering The Middle East Through Wars, Insurrections, And The Volcanic Upheaval Of Resurgent Fundamentalism Yet For Her, Headline Events Were Only The Backdrop To A Less Obvious But Enduring Drama The Daily Life Of Muslim Women Nine Parts Of Desireis The Story Of Brooks Intrepid Journey Toward An Understanding Of The Women Behind The Veils, And Of The Often Contradictory Political, Religious, And Cultural Forces That Shape Their Lives Defying Our Stereotypes About The Muslim World, Brooks Acute Analysis Of The World S Fastest Growing Religion Deftly Illustrates How Islam S Holiest Texts Have Been Misused To Justify Repression Of Women, And How Male Pride And Power Have Warped The Original Message Of A Once Liberating Faith


10 thoughts on “Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

  1. says:

    Aaargh I just wrote a bloody long review of this book then the goodreads website ate it Anyway, starting over Read, in the name of thy LordWho hath created all things, whoHath created man of congealed blood.Read, by thy most beneficent Lord,Who taught us the use of the pen,who teaches man that which he knoweth not The Koran The Chapter of Congealed BloodI have been living, working and travelling in the Middle East since I was nineteen years old That s over eleven years now In that time I have taken buses, boats, service taxis, trains, planes, lorries, scooters, camels and horses to get across Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey I ve travelled from the Iraqi Border to Istanbul, from Aqaba to Aleppo and still have yet to reconcile my feelings on various attitudes towards women I suspect it is something I will never fully make my peace with.Geraldine Brooks has written an approachable, easy to read guide to the Koran and what is says about women She makes a clear distinction between the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith as how they are then interpreted by various different groups Interpretations vary widely across the pan Islamic world hence the variety of rules and regulations which govern womens lives vary quite greatly from country to country However, this is only a very introductory guide this is not a definitive examination go out, seek other books and talk to other women You will not finish this book and walk away with a complete and unbiased understanding of the Islamic faith in its many, rich and varied forms Brooks, in a relatively privileged position as an established journo was able to talk to numerous successful powerful women, including Queen Noor of Jordan, several of her female advisers and one of the daughters of the Ayatollah Khomeini Not your average cross section of middle eastern women by any stretch of the imagination.My time in the Middle East usually involved living and working in fairly rural communities, although that said, I also lived in Aqaba for a fair period of time and the shores of Red Sea at Aqaba are graced with a pizza hut, a Radisson and a Movenpick hotel not exactly small potatoes.The women I have met, like Brooks group, came from a variety of backgrounds young professionals who went sans headscarf in the city, young village wives newly married, family matriarchs and government officials A gentleman who used to work for me had two wives a town wife and a country wife Country wife was the first wife and a marriage of love She lived off the desert highway in a small freeholding with goats, sheep, chickens, vines and a lovingly tended vegetable patch She was unable to have children so a second wife, the town wife had been acquired through an arranged marriage Town wife was young, spangly and lived in a small modern air conditioned apartment with a big TV Quite a stark contract to the beautiful but humble dwelling of the wife out in the country who drew her water from the well Both wives knew of each others existence but chose not to live together in the same house All of the men I have worked with have treated me with kindness, respect and deference They have paid me what they believe is their highest compliment, often telling me that i m as good as man As massively sexist as that sounds it is just the way they see things and I m not about to cack handedly try to alter their benchmark or world view Through them I met their charming, erudite, spirited and happy wives and daughters who were knowledgeable and talented at things I was not Sure I got my good as a man tag by being good at 4x4 off road desert driving and being a good marksman when handed a rifle or semi automatic, but I cannot sew, weave, bake bread, sing, dance or grow and maintain a magnificent garden in an arid desert environment If I lived in the Middle East I think I would value those talents too As a woman who has lived and worked in these countries I can empathise with some of the situations that Brooks describes Here are my top 5 not great being a woman experiences, in no particular order 1 Having my ass groped in Martyr Square, Damscus I avenged myself by punching the offending busy handed git by smacking him in the side of the head The two French guys I was travelling with were very surprised by the sudden flurry of violence as they hadn t noticed what was going on NB many local gents drinking tea in the vicinity applauded apparently avenging honour is not just a male perogative.2 Having my breasts grabbed while walking along the Corniche in Alexandria Strolling along, minding my own when a boy of about 13 ran up put out both hands, grabbed, squeezed and then legged it Random.3 The Tampax Police, Amman While departing from Amman I was searched in the ladies privacy booth by a female security guard who was lovely and polite and patient to my child like arabic She emptied my bag and out fell a cluster of tampons She asked what they were I tried to explain cue basic arabic and a fairly graphic mime No She shook her head and called her supervisor The supervisor turned up, opened all them all, snapped them in half and then gave them back to me Uh, thanks, I kind of needed those Needless to say they went in the bin.4 Narrowly escaping serious sexual assault on board a bus to Van Golu.5 Being chased by men on scooters near my pansion in Tripoli, Lebanon.See, none of those experiences were exactly great but they have never deterred me from returning to work in this part of the world because the good far outweighs any bad experiences perpetrated by a few ignorant individuals I have worn many elements of Islamic dress and have an extensive collection of head scarves There is beyond the veil than many might expect.


  2. says:

    Now that I have moved away from Arabia after living there for three years, I was ready to read a book about women and Islam I tend to be dubious about any book that claims to have the real story on this topic, but found this book worth reading When I read the title, I thought I was going to learn about the sexuality of Arabic women Instead, the book was about the lives of Islamic women as wives, mothers, workers, and citizens In her attempt to understand Islamic women, she also got to know some revolutionaries, politicians, athletes, and a queen along the way and I found her accounts of these encounters fascinating She also dealt with the dress and health of women in the Muslim world I was hooked by the end of the prologue as the author wrote honestly about her experiences as a journalist and a Western women reporting from Saudi Arabia I kept reading the book with great interest primarily because of the stories Brooks shares with us about the amazing, regular women she had gotten to know in her work There is theory and argumentation in the book, too While she strongly attacks the misogyny she sees in the Arab world, she also does a decent job of distinguishing which parts of religious practice in the Muslim world are based on the Koran and the Hadith, things Mohammed and his followers said, from what may be based on older, misogynist cultural practices The historical Mohammed was much respectful of women than many religious leaders today in Saudi Arabia or Hezbollah, for example However, she also shows that some parts of Islam today such as polygamy, the veil, and discouraging the adoption of children were based on expediency for the historical Muhammed or his whim Having said that, Brooks points out that Islamic women must know the Koran and Hadith well and use it to protect their rights as much as possible Here s an example More than 30 Saudi women who held international driver s licenses protested the rule against women driving in Saudi Arabia by driving enmasse through the streets of Riyadh They were arrested and the police released them because they had driver s licenses The religious court tried them too and found, obviously, that there isn t anything in Sharian law, based on the Koran forbidding women from driving The only relevant piece of information is that his daughter, Fatima, rode a horse, the car of Mohammed s time, so they were never charged with any crime This example demonstrates that women in Saudi Arabia still aren t driving because of cultural beliefs, not Islam Sadly, the names and numbers of the protestors were released and they received a good deal of harassment for their actions which probably shamed their families Though not successful in changing this norm, I think the power of this approach is apparent Let me give you another example Women s athletics suffered a terrible blow after the Shah was overthrown Fortunately, some women argued that Mohammed recommnended archery, horseback riding, and swimming After patient arguing of this point women were allowed to do these activities along with shooting, good for times of revolution, and running Sports facilities were closed to men during certain hours, so women could exercise in private Thus, they kept the opportunity to exercise According to Brooks, the fundamentalism of Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah is not based on the past in Palestine or Lebanon, but a much radical Saudi Arabian like model The book is a bit old, so I don t actually know if things have become worse for Islamic women since she wrote the book, but it seems like my students in the UAE were covering their heads than their counterparts in the recent past, at least in class and on campus they didn t their faces At the very least, Brooks has convinced me that it s important to know about Islam and pay attention to what is happening in the Muslim world Like her, I definitely treasure the sisterhood I have felt with the Islamic women I have known through my work.


  3. says:

    Before reading this book, I remember looking at the woman who were completely covered by their berka and thinking how repressed they were I felt sorry for the freedom they were denied My landlord at the time gave me his copy and I although I was hesitant, I agreed to read itand I am so glad I did The book delves deep into the roots of the Muslim beliefs and allows an outsider to appreciate a custom we would otherwise know little about I learned that most woman interviewed do not feel repressed to be fully covered by their berkas, but are proud to wear them and prefer it to not wearing one The book explains how God gave men one desire and women the remaining nine, hence the need to cover A friend in college, Zeneb, was from Turkey and fully agreed to being fully covered at all times when men were around She never explained her religious beliefs to me, she simply said that s how she interpretted her faith When I finally saw her at an all girls night at my house, I saw her exterior beauty as well as her inner beauty Reading this book brought me closer to her and to all the women I once believed to be repressed


  4. says:

    As a Muslim woman I was interested in reading this book as to have an idea of how Muslim women are viewed by non Muslim westerners.I was a bit confused reading this book as most of the issues discussed such as the honor killings or removal of clitoris have never even been heard by me A distinction between culture and religion really has to be made as I sense that the middle Eastern have very deep rooted cultures that have tangled with Islam and because they form the bulk of Muslim population,at times there is a confusion.The I study islam in its pure sense ,the I am drawn into it.religion has been abused by man since the days mankind was created This should not be a book for people to base their judgement on the way life is experienced by Muslim women and so not to judge the teachings of Islam on Muslim women this book was written than ten years ago so it is most likely that there is a big disparity between life on muslim women then and now which is why I find it hard to believe some if the things I have read in the book and strongly but respectfully disagree with the opinion of the author.the author most be commended for her attempt to find things out for herself.


  5. says:

    I live in Dubai and know a lot of people who have read this book, besides myself I am an American, so you d think my perspective would be similar to Brooks , but it s not It is true, there are extreme, evil, awful and just wrong things that happen in the name of fundumental Islam, and I know I have shared stories with expat friends about them But I and everyone I know who has read this book have been left with a bad taste Brooks is a very good, engaging writer, and I did learn some things from this book, so I wouldn t disregard it completely But I did find myself wondering why Brooks has such an agenda to convince the world of Islam s evil Maybe she is bitter from her own experiences during the years she spent reporting in the Middle East Brooks picks a lot of specific extreme examples and pretends to balance them with positive stories, but she alway ends on a negative note I would have liked to see discussion of the places in the world where Muslims live alongside other religions in relative tolerance Places like the United Arab Emirates, where the government itself makes a concerted effort to inform people about the difference between the cultural traditions of Arabic lands and the practices which are actually drawn from the Koran I felt the book omitted a needed discussion of the Muslim women and men who had left their home countries when fundamentalist regimes gained power How many Muslim communities are there like this in the world In Europe, for instance And yet the book tries to pin the injustices it discusses purely on Islam, rather than the regimes in power in the middle east Brooks seems to say, yes, there are Muslim countries where things aren t so bad, but still, all the problems they do have stem from Islam If you are willing to do the work of reading a lot to balance Brooks perspective with information, then it is probably worthwhile to read this book On the other hand, if you only read one book about Muslims, do not make it this one.


  6. says:

    Hmm Personally it always makes me uncomfortable when an outsider criticizes and analyzes a religion that is not their own There are enough people from Muslim countries who are scathingly critical of their own culture and write about it When someone from the West does it, it always appears to be condescending even when they are trying to be objective This book was written in the 90s, so while not all the information is necessarily dated, it s definitely not up to date This was also the time period when I was traveling regularly to the Middle East and was reading a lot about the region, so there was really nothing new in it regarding the religion, history or culture that I didn t already know about What was different of course were our personal experiences I was traveling to countries that were stable at the time Egypt, Yemen, Turkey and Morocco and my experiences were overwhelmingly positive I never traveled to the trouble spots Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq I did very much enjoy the chapter that takes place in Cairo where the author wants to learn to dance, finds a teacher, buys a costume and finally performs in the lowest of lowest class night clubs to make a statement about the treatment of dancers It made me laugh All and all, this book might be an interesting read for people who have never been to the region, however for those many Westerners who are already biased toward that part of the world, it would only further confirm all their negative feelings What makes me so sad is that as I write this, in 2014, the situation is worse than ever, with ISIS making the Ayatollahs of Iran seem moderate in comparison I do agree 100% with her assertion that the real villain has been Saudi Arabia the government and not necessarily the people themselves all along and it is time for the Western countries to accept this Although this book truly was well written, I am fed up with reading books about the Middle East or Islam from Western authors memoirs excepted If I am going to read any books on the subject, I d rather read authors from the countries of origin.


  7. says:

    This should be required reading or at least strongly encouraged, this book was written in 1994 THis was entertaining with a lot of research and facts made interesting by interviewing and living with the people she wrote about I am buying a copy ASAP borrowed from the library Brooks writes, because this is the kind of sterile, segregated world that fundamentalists are calling for, right now, for their countries and for the entire Islamic world None of these groups is saying, Let s recreate Turkey and separate church and state Instead, what they want is Saudi style, theocratically enforced repression of women, cloaked in vapid clich s about a woman s place being the paradise of her home There is no room for currently fashionable relativism At some point, every religion, especially one that purports to encompass a complete way of life and system of government, has to be called to account for the kind of life it offers the people in the lands where it predominates, Brooks writes, with 240 persuasive pages behind her The arguments of cultural relativists, she says, boil down to this ghastly and untenable position a human right is what the local despot says it is.


  8. says:

    Nine Parts Of Desire The Hidden World of Islamic Women is a wonderful informative read.The author an Austrailian reporter who spend the late 1980s and early 90s in the Middle East as a reporter, and during her time there decided to get to know the women of Islam and spent a lot of time interviewing and getting to know these women of different social status and different ages to bring us a very interesting account of Islamic history, Islamic women and the traditions of today.I love reading about different nationalities, religions and customs and have always been interested in learning how other cultures live.I really enjoyed this book and feel that the author did an excellent job without coming across as judgemental or preachy At times throughout this book I found myself exclaiming out loud and other times I found myself angry but I felt I got to know a part of the world that I knew very little about and I am glad to have had the opportunity to read this book.I loved the closing few lines of the book which read as follows I lost the chador in which many of my memories were wrapped, yet they are with me always the women who trusted me across the chasm of faith and culture, when I think of them I think of faith and kindness, warmth and hospitality, I think of the things that united us rather than on those things that we disagreed They wanted to live to see their children live That at least we had in common, that at least is a place to start. I listened to this as an audio book which was narrated by Geraldine Brooks herself and while it was adequately narrated I did find her voice a tiny bit annoying at times and not because of her accent but because of her tone.


  9. says:

    I read this as part of a bookclub discussion The book was selected by a lovely woman who fled Iran 24 years ago, and had lived through the revolution, war and economic sanctions against her country She said she started reading it a year ago but it was just too emotional and so she thought with the support of the bookclub she could get through it I was grateful for her choice as this was interesting, informative and a unique perspective on the topic Instead of a classic book report I have decided to share the bookclub discussion experience.So, the group met yesterday evening, 9 women and 5 men The group on the whole is well educated, well informed, well read and generally progressive After everyone has takes a turn to give their impression of the book, open discussion follows And guess what followed MANSPLAINING The book was about women in Islamic middle eastern cultures, told through very personal stories Some were positive, but many very illustrative of how women are subjugated, abused and repressed While political and economic policy are relevant to such a book, this wasn t a book about politics or policy Nevertheless, a subset of the men in the room hijacked the discussion into that When the woman from Iran who lived through the revolution explained that Iranian revolution in 1979 was not entirely rooted in the rise Islamic fundamentalism, she was corrected When she described the economic disparity in Iran no middle class she was corrected When I brought up my opinion that it s not the Islamic faith that leads to repression of women, but rather patriarchal cultural practices, I was corrected The irony of the whole situation was not lost on me, nor was it lost on many of the other women in the room.To be fair, these men aren t misogynists and they are probably sympathetic to feminist causes But they have also been raised to be assertive and are better skilled at inserting their opinions into the discussion They may not consciously discount a woman s opinion, but they probably are oblivious to their subconscious biases Even in so called enlightened western culture, in one of the most liberal cities in America, you can find micro aggressions against women in the context of a book discussion about the oppression of Islamic women _ _ Now, turn a subconscious bias against women into one that is culturally sanctioned through religious interpretation and you have the plight of many many Islamic women in the Middle East Even though this book is 20 years old and not without flaws, it is informative a worth a read.


  10. says:

    I m currently obsessed with this book It s coming up in all my conversations I even made my 102 students listen to a page and a half or so Fascinating, horrifying, and terribly important stuff for anyone who cares about women and girls, religion, war and peace I m reading and re reading when I should be reading and writing other stuff and hoping I remember it all.


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