“ In her new book, Beyond Veiled Clichés: The Real Lives of Arab Women, Amal Awad brings the much-needed voices of Arab women to the forefront. The author invites us to listen in on her discussions with prominent women in their communities, as well as old friends. The topics range from the inevitable discussion of the hijab, identity politics, and the line between religion and culture to Arab feminism and the experiences of queer Arab women. While many of these vignettes centre on well-worn debates within mainstream media, they also vividly point out that Arab women have been grappling with these issues in their own way and with far greater nuance than Western critics tend to give them credit. ”
Athena Rogers, Right
May 29, 2017
Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au
May 29, 2017
Random House Australia
Dubai is many things – interesting, enthralling, unusual – but it’s not a genuine glimpse of the Arab world. That’s not to say I didn’t like it. But it felt more like a business centre dropped into the middle of the desert than the Middle East I knew. It’s a world designed to encourage and promote the growth of ideas and invention. And it’s making great inroads in the representation of Emirati women in the workforce and in government. At the time of my visit, the UAE had eight female ministers in its thirty- member cabinet, and its ambitious 2020 Expo was being led by Reem Al Hashimy, another high-achieving woman. With its large expat community, many women are also active in the workplace. Laudy Lahdo, a Lebanese-Australian woman, is based out of Dubai as the general manager of Servcorp Middle East. She has found great success in her industry: in her first year working there, she won an award for manager of the year. So Dubai may have its critics, but arguably it is a place of dreams – easier to reach than the US if you’re from the East; attractive to Westerners for its financial benefits and imitations of Western life.
But my authentic Bedouin experience was quickly turning sour.
I had longed to touch the desert sands, and after a month of intense interactions and travel in the region, I wanted to have some fun with Chris. So I’d registered us for this expedition of desert exploration. I had no idea at the time that trips like this in Dubai constituted an entire industry, so large in scale that the only variations between tourist providers was whether you paid more and got a bottle of booze thrown in.Continue Reading