Married to a Bedouin

by Marguerite Van Geldermalsen | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 1844082202 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingJ4shawwing of Boise, Idaho USA on 5/24/2015
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingJ4shawwing from Boise, Idaho USA on Sunday, May 24, 2015
About the Book
“‘Where you staying?’ the Bedouin asked. ‘Why you not stay with me tonight—in my cave.’ He seemed enthusiastic. And we were looking for adventure." Thus begins the story of how Marguerite van Geldermalsen—a New Zealand-born nurse—became the wife of Mohammad Abdallah Othman, a Bedouin souvenir-seller of the Manaja tribe, and lived with him and their children in a community of 100 families in the ancient caves of Petra in Jordan. Marguerite and a friend were traveling through the Middle East in 1978 when she met the charismatic Mohammad and decided that he was the man for her.

My Review read June 2015
Picked this book out specifically for the 666 for 2015 - An Around the World Reading Challenge . It's not typically what I would choose to read.
Having left my "home" behind for the man I love (admitedly Jordan is a bit different to Australia....and more recently Kiribati) Marguerite's story wasn't too difficult for me to comprehend.
Marguerite tells her story in a very easy to read way, and the insight she gives the reader to the Bedouin culture is something I'd imagine quite rare a find, and for that I thank her.

Journal Entry 2 by wingJ4shawwing at Tarawa Island, -- Not a city, Geographical features, etc. -- Kiribati on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (6/17/2015 UTC) at Tarawa Island, -- Not a city, Geographical features, etc. -- Kiribati


This one is going out as a surprise Wishlist RABCK to tie in nicely with the Send your current read RABCK as well as the 2015 Wishlist Challenge threads.

(I always add physical postage stamps to my packages. If you are not a collector yourself, check out the I collect postage stamps because... thread to find them a happy home.)

Journal Entry 3 by wingTarnawing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Noticed last month that someone from Kiribati had visited my profile page. Kiribati?! Wow. Since we seem to have one (1!) active BC'er there, I was pretty sure who it was. I was pleasantly surprised. Didn't know what to be expected...
Spent the weekend somewhere else and returned home last night. And there was was a book waiting for me! At least I thought it was a book. On the package, my address and everything were so beautifully written and, what is more, there were real stamps on it. Gorgeous stamps. I've usually given the stamps to my father . But he's in hospital now and we don't know if he's ever coming back home again. So, I'll have to see what to do with the stamps.
Luckily, the package was a bit ruptured, otherwise it would still be unopened. I'm happy to say the book wasn't damaged at all. Yes, the book... My wishlist book. One of those I thought I'd have to live without. The book that seems so, so very interesting.
Life hasn't been too easy lately but this RABCK of yours made it seem a lot sweeter. Thank you ever so much, J4shaw!

Journal Entry 4 by wingTarnawing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, July 28, 2017
This book took me to two trips. One was, of course, with Marguerite van Geldermalsen and the other with my friend Toss, her husband, her daughter—my god-daughter—Faenza, and the brother of Mr. Toss. We stayed in Aqaba and made a day trip to Petra. It was January 1988. We decided to rent a Jeep for our visit to Petra, but the car rental clerk refused to let us have a Jeep. 'They're mere toys,' he said. 'What you need is a decent four wheel drive sedan.' Luckily we believed him. It started to snow while we were driving there. The road was narrow, winding and slippery, but we arrived Wadi Musa safely and then rode horseback to Petra. Our Bedouin guide told us that he had been living there in the caves with his family. In Petra, Toss and I decided to walk back. Our guide took us to the caves. I really enjoyed remembering it all again.
I also enjoyed this book. The text is both informative and easy to read. Marguerite van Geldermalsen draws a vivid picture of their everyday in Petra. I find short chapters truly pleasant, and she uses Arabic words in their context so that I didn't need the glossary even once. At the end of the day, I enjoyed the insight into Bedouin culture the most.
Needless to say, I liked this book very, very much. Thank you so much for sharing it with me, J4shaw!

Marguerite van Geldermalsen Biography at the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency
The Bedouin From New Zealand at the Saudi Aramco World
Married to a Bedouin, Marguerite van Geldermalsen's website

”A rose-red city half as old as time at Jordan Tourism Board site
The Ancient City of Petra, Jordan at YouTube
Petra Lost City of Stone Full Discovery Ancient History Documentary 2016 at YouTube

Journal Entry 5 by wingTarnawing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Saturday, July 29, 2017
I just realized I could participate with this book in CatharnaL's
Nojatuolimatka, travelling book (or something like that) reading challenge. Married to a Bedouin is not really a travelling book but it does give quite a lot info about Petra. As I said earlier, this book took me to the holiday trip I made with some dear friends in early 1988. We stayed in Aqaba but spent one day in Petra.
In the beginning of the book, there's Petra map. My trip started there. Seeing the words The Siq to Wadi Musa reminded of riding to Petra through the narrow gorge and, yes, being a bit afraid. (Admittedly, I'm not that used to horses. Nevertheless, I did prefer riding a horse to riding a camel. I was—and still am—even less used to camels.) In spite of my hear I said the horse, 'Yalla yalla!' Repeatedly. A workmate of mine had just returned from Golan where he had worked as a UN peacekeeper. He has kindly written me a list of useful Arabic words, so I knew Arabic enough to tell the horse to hurry up. He totally understood that I couldn't wait to get down and feel the ground beneath my feet again. They're wise, those Jordanian horses.
I was so relieved to the other side of the Siq. And there it was: beautiful, rosy Petra. First we went to the Treasury, it's closest to the Siq. What I remember best are the colour, the mountains, the caves and, of course, our Bedouin guide. He was so kind, like all Jordanian people we met. (Finnish travel agencies had just started to sell package tours to Jordania, and just a week or two prior to our visit King Hussein had made a speech in Jordanian television. In his speech, he mentioned the first Finnish tourists and asked his people to be especially nice to them. And they were.) Our guide left Toss and me while we were exploring the caves. When we were in Siq walking towards Wadi Musa, a truck drove by and then stopped. It was our guide offering us a ride back. So, we didn't have to walk trough the gorge. Once again, we were overwhelmed by Jordanian/Bedouin kindness.
Next thing I remember was how cold it was. (It had snowed earlier, as I said in my entry yeasterday.) We went to a restaurant and had some tasty hot soup. The next day, on the beach in Aqaba, we told a bartender about the snowfall. He was so exited he said he'd go to Petra next day hoping it would snow again. It would be the first time ever he'd see some real snow.

Journal Entry 6 by wingTarnawing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, October 19, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (10/19/2017 UTC) at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland


With congratulations to the winner of the Authors from unusual countries sweepstakes. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 7 by wingsakirmowing at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Friday, October 20, 2017
Oh dear... did I really win this sweepstakes?! Very exciting :D Looking forward to reading this one as it's rare to come across anything written about Bedouins. Thank you Tarna!!

Journal Entry 8 by wingsakirmowing at Bookcrossing Convention Bordeaux 2018 in Bordeaux, Aquitaine France on Sunday, April 15, 2018

Released 7 mos ago (4/20/2018 UTC) at Bookcrossing Convention Bordeaux 2018 in Bordeaux, Aquitaine France


It took me a long time to finish this, a couple of (short) chapters at a time was usually enough. Not because it's a bad book, just not exactly my type. Rather than detailed descriptions of mundane things like household chores or which neighbour/relative had a child or came to visit, I was hoping to read more about how she got over the inevitable culture shock and settled down to a place and culture so different from her own, but there wasn't much of that in the book at all.
One of the most interesting parts turned out to be the epilogue, where she describes the 'rest' of their life in less than 10 pages - seems that there were a lot of things happening that I would have liked to hear about, but she chose not to share (although she made it clear that she wanted to concentrate on good memories only, and also on talking about the disappeared Bedouin lifestyle, which of course she should!)

Next: released at the Bordeaux Convention, hopefully someone picks it up.

Journal Entry 9 by wingromneywing at Semaphore, South Australia Australia on Saturday, October 06, 2018
Oh, that was naughty, I didn't journal this book when I picked it up in Bordeaux!

This was an interesting read, since I was at Petra less than a year ago so I could clearly picture the places that were mentioned - although I am sure they are very different now.

I will take this book to meet-up next week, but if no one wants it there, it will be going to the Australia/New Zealand Uncon in Hobart next month.

Journal Entry 10 by wingromneywing at Unconvention 2018 in Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Thursday, November 08, 2018

Released 1 wk ago (11/9/2018 UTC) at Unconvention 2018 in Hobart, Tasmania Australia


I hope this book makes someone's day. If it's not your kind of read, journal it, pass it on and join in the fun of watching books you have touched travel the world!

Journal Entry 11 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Saturday, November 17, 2018
Ohhh, this book looks really interesting. I haven't been to Petra for over a decade. I wonder if I can still visualise the buildings when I read this book.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.