Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

by Geraldine Brooks | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0385475772 Global Overview for this book
Registered by istop4books of Castle Rock, Colorado USA on 10/9/2007
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Tuesday, October 09, 2007
On Mt. TBR

Journal Entry 2 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Monday, July 27, 2009
This book was written in 1994, pre-9/11 and pre my interest in the Middle East. I mean I knew a little bit about a couple of countries, but not much. This book changes that. I had read Brooks book, Year of Wonders about the plague, and March, about the Civil War – both excellent books, but I had no idea she was an accomplished journalist whom the Wall Street Journal had sent to the Middle East as a foreign correspondent – and not for six month, but for 6 years. Her curiosity, open mindedness and intelligence turn what could have been a scholastic, academic subject, into a readable, understandable short enough to get through work of nonfiction. The fact that she wrote it before 9/11 gives it perhaps more of an unbiased view, although I dare say I think it would have been unbiased anyway. It is, however, one woman’s experience – hers and hers alone. She donned the abaya, the scarf and whatever other garment she needed to wear and introduced herself into the lives of these women to further understand it. She herself is not muslim, and it is strictly her perspective that dominates the book.

The book is well researched. And as Salmon Rushdie said to her “make no mistakes.” It’s the kind of book which is easy to criticize as it touches on the touchiest of subjects, Faith and Religion. There is only one thing worse than a critique of someone else’s religion – it’s a critique of your own faith. And so it seems to me that Brooks dotted all her I’s and crossed all her t’s. She researched and explained all her points, and illustrated them with real people.

Brooks organizes the book into chapters that talk about childhood, education, female genital mutilation, politics, work, family life , to name a few, and gives a wealth of historical background information on the Koran, on Mohammed and his wife Fatima – to bring the reader to the point of understanding how the Islamic world has arrived at their positions regarding women now. She also distinguishes between the different countries (although she doesn’t much touch progressive Turkey), she does go into a bit of the history of Jordan, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia being the most repressive of the Middle Eastern societies, Iran and Egypt being the most progressive.

To me, in particular, I see the world of Islam, and most especially fundamentalism, as female apartheid. It is a world of rules set by men for the betterment of men. Men who cannot keep it zipped if they hear the voice of a woman, who cannot contain themselves if they see an ankle, or a bit of hair. Men who place so much emphasis on their lack of self control, that sexuality (or lack thereof) permeates every aspect of every bit of their lives. And in doing so, deny 50% of their human population the right to live, the right of choice, to make decisions, to fulfill their dreams, to create a purposeful life, to make mistakes. In the end, I just don’t get it.

Journal Entry 3 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Sunday, August 09, 2009
bookray



This one is going out as a book ray. Participants so far:

Jayebirck - US - US pref
Oi-reader - US - US Pref, int'l if needed
amcamp1644 - US - US or CAN <----- here
Kobie03 - Can - International<-----asked to be skipped
Secretariat - Can - International
Kalise - Austria - EU
Icila - France - anywhere
Okyrhoe - Greece - anywhere
Tregossip, UK - EU
House-elfdobby - UK - anywhere
Shovelmonkey1 - UK - anywhere
Nu-Knees - UK - UK
tree-hugger - UK

You all know how it goes, receive it, journal, read it, journal, send it, journal and enjoy! If it's going to be more than a month or so, because life can sometimes get in the way - or because after a dry spell of months and months of no book rings, 4 come in at the same time - drop me a note.

Journal Entry 4 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The book ray starts! I'm mailing this out to Jayebirck today!!

Journal Entry 5 by Jayebirck from Dallas, Texas USA on Saturday, August 15, 2009
Received in the mail today! Woo Hoo! Once I finish the book I'm currently reading I'll read the book and send it forward. I report back to work on Monday for teacher inservice, so it'll take a little bit longer than if I were still at home. Thanks so much istop4books! You are a bookcrossing angel!

Journal Entry 6 by Jayebirck from Dallas, Texas USA on Sunday, August 23, 2009
Started reading this today! So far its going well.

Journal Entry 7 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Monday, November 09, 2009
Arrived safely here today! I'm in the middle of 2 different books right now but should be able to have read it by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 8 by oi-reader at -- Somewhere, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, December 13, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (12/14/2009 UTC) at -- Somewhere, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to the next reader!

Journal Entry 9 by oi-reader from Toledo, Ohio USA on Sunday, December 13, 2009
Keeping in mind the era this book was written I feel it is a semi accurate account of women in Muslim societies. I actually read this before when it was first published as required reading while writing my thesis on the strength of women in Islamic cultures. Brooks is very readable, and many of the encounters she has with the women she writes about are a bit to the extreme. I only wish she had visited with women in Muslim cultures more advanced or modern.

For anyone interested in learning more about women's issues worldwide I encourage you to look int equalitynow.org, a wonderful organization that helps fight female circumsision as well as promoting equality between the sexes.

Journal Entry 10 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Sunday, April 04, 2010
Apparently this book has been lost in the mail on its way to amcamp. If I can find another copy, I will continue the ray. I don't have many hopes of the book turning up after 3+months.

Journal Entry 11 by istop4books from Castle Rock, Colorado USA on Saturday, April 17, 2010
I found a replacement book so the bookray can continue its journey.

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Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

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