This was an interesting look inside the Ben Ladin clan, but I couldn't help getting a little irritated with Carmen Bin Ladin. She complains about how oppressed these women are and yet she stayed with her husband for years and years. She whined about the unattractively decorated little suburban-type houses, though I would say it was a pretty high-end suburb from the photo of their backyard. She comes off as a bit of a gold-digger since she talks a lot about the large allowances the ladies had to buy expensive clothes and other baubles. The book left me still wondering; what's it REALLY like living "Inside the Kingdom"? Ultimately, a slightly unsatisfying read.
Fascinating book about the life of Carmen Bin Laden, who was married to one of Osama Bin Laden's 56 brothers and lived in Saudi Arabia until her daughters started school and she realized what kind of life they would have as women and decided to get out. Details what life is like for women living in Saudi Arabia in our day and age. Truly shocking and frightening. Totally mesmerizing, for women and for men.
Carmen gives us a glimpse into what it's like to be a woman in Saudi Arabia, a country where the man reigns supreme and the woman has no rights and is kept dependent....what it's like to raise daughters there and wanting so much more for them. She tells us about the religious laws that must be strictly followed, such as praying 5 times per day, strict reading of the Koran, not being allowed to talk to men, books and media as contraband, and must be covered in an aabaya at all times when outside of the home. She tells of the booming industry and growth in the middle east in the 1970's.....and small steps forward for women.... only to have them taken quickly away by Ayatollah Komeini who invaded Saudi. If readers are hoping to get alot of information in regards to her former brother in law, Osama, then this book is not for them. While she does tell about him briefly, this books main focus is what it's like to be a foreign woman living in an oppressive country. Carmen's style of writing keeps the reader interested and it's a relatively fast read.
Her brother-in-law may well be the world's most well-known terrorist, but she is a mother who only wants a safe life for her daughters. This memoir shares examples of middle Eastern life, and how it has changed in only a few decades. A very good read that helps readers understand how quickly things can change, both for one person, and for a whole country.
This is an excellent book to learn about women in Saudi culture. I was fascinated to read about what happens when you get entrenched in their world. I read it and let several people at work read it and everyone loved it. Would highly recommend it.
Five Stars, definitely. I am passing this book among my family and best friends that are readers before reposting it. I hope there are other copies "out there". Well written, painfully honest and done in a fashion that I was not envious or thinking "poor baby" sarcastically when she dropped how much "she thought they were worth" financially at different points in time. It was educational regarding Saudi Arabia in a way history books cannot match. Read this book. You will not be sorry for the time spent - my only complaint...ah, yes, there is one. I wish is was longer!
Carmen Bin Ladin's account of her 1974 marriage into the Bin Laden family. I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. It provides insights into the Saudi Arabian culture with its archaic beliefs about women. Carmen was a young European woman who fancied herself in love, but was forced to join a culture that she did not understand. Forced to never be seen by a man outside of the family, she was unable to leave her home without the head-to-toe black abaya that would completely obliterated her female form and face. She became part of a culture completely ruled by men and found her life controlled beyond endurance. As her marriage fell apart, she found herself questioning what sort of life she wanted for her daughters in the future and this dictates much of her future actions.
Carmen Bin Ladin chronicles her nine years of married life in a puritanical, male-dominated community where ' women are no more than house pets'. The book is a diary-style account of her struggle to cope with rules and strictures as suffocating as the desert climate.
A chilling look under the veil of a Saudi woman, who just happens to be Osama's sister-in law. this book clearly shows that Saudi Arabia is not a trustworthy friend, that the the Saudi women are prisoners of their families and the system.
I found this a fascinating look at the struggle of a "western " woman to make a life in the Saudi society. She seemed to truly love her husband, but the strictures of his society suffocated her and her girls. Truly made me appreciate America!
I enjoyed the book very much. I felt it was very eye opening from the aspect of a woman who could marry a Saudi man. We are so monumentally naive about how we would be treated if we lived in Saudi Arabia. We would have not rights to our children, nor ourselves. I was honestly astounded. Carmen gave a real westerners view of a priveleged woman's life behind the sand wall.
Eye-opening information. A story hard to put down. Living as a woman in Saudi Arabia has got to be one of the biggest hardships I've ever read about. I'm so glad and privileged to be a citizen of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the best country in the world.
It's so sad that in the world today people are still treated as they are. The fact that women are worth so little is unbelievable. I think Carmen had an insight to the life of the Saudi women, but because she had money it was a different experience than if she had been poor.
Very interesting, helped me understand the Muslim beliefs. The story helped me understand the underlying issues and why we as Christians don't see things the same way. With all the terrorism on the news it helps to know more about the Muslims and how they are not bad people, just different in their outlook on religion. The author wrote a very direct, easy to understand portrait of the Muslim world. Highly recommend if you want to know more about the Middle East and why they live and believe a they do.
Excellant example of how scary this world is especially for women. Her knowledge and insight into how the fanatics really hate us, including Saudia Arabia, was frightning. She tells her story well and is a brave woman to even consider sharing it.
Tells a story of the ruling class in Saudi Arabia and a look at the Bin Laden Tribe. It is amazing to me that women are treated as property and can be killed at will. I do not understand why any women continue to live in Saudia Arabia under such horrible conditions and human rights violations.