Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Literary Books that Bind March 2024 – It’s Not What You Think: An American Woman in Saudi Arabia

Venue

Online
online

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Interchurch Center
475 Riverside Drive
Category

TICKETS/REGISTER LINK

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Date

Mar 07 2024
Expired!

Time

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)

Online

Books that Bind March 2024 – It’s Not What You Think: An American Woman in Saudi Arabia

Books that Bind Building bonds through books and conversation. Our club reads a wide range of authors and genres. Books that Bind is the official Book Club of the Interchurch Center located in the Morningside/ Harlem area of New York City, NY. The club was established in 2011 to build bonds and friendship through a shared love of books among the various tenants of the building and neighbored.

Reading: It’s Not What You Think: An American Woman in Saudi Arabia by Sabeeha Rehman

Date: Thursday, March 07 at 12:00 PM EST

From the author of Threading My Prayer Rug , an eye-opening view of life in Saudi Arabia.
It’s Not What You Think is a wry, incisive account of working in Saudi Arabia that offers insight into that insular patriarchal society, what is so attractive to expatriates living there, and what was contradictory or confining about it for a naturalized American who is a woman and a Muslim. A hospital executive in New Jersey, Sabeeha relocated with her oncologist husband to Riyadh, the most conservative city in the country, intending to remain two years. They ended up staying for six. Her book takes the reader on a journey of discovery that mirrors her own.

Offered an influential position at Riyadh’s most prestigious hospital, she first has to obtain her husband’s permission to work. In public spaces, she quickly encounters the morality police but also learns the freedom of the abaya. Sales men staff the lingerie department. Women in Riyadh do not work in public places, yet they hold positions of authority within corporate culture; and outside Riyadh, she discovers that women-owned-and-operated businesses flourish, and Bedouin women could drive in the desert decades before Riyadh’s ban was relaxed. Through Sabeeha’s eyes, we see how Saudi and Western expat cultures coexist within the boundaries of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” how traditions define the identity of the Saudi nation, and how to discern what is “culturally appropriate” versus what is required legally. As she dons pilgrim’s garb, we join her on the hajj, to discover the intensity and spiritual high of the devout.

 

It's Not What You Think: An American Woman in Saudi Arabia by Sabeeha Rehman

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