Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Imagine four young women. Vivacious and lovely, educated, modern and fashionable. When they meet, it is to party and share their innermost secrets. When they shop, they buy till they drop dead. When they dine, they eat and drink till they are ready to burst. There cellphones ring constantly proclaiming their popular status. Then there are the heartbreaks; the men they love may be dashing and handsome, but they are often the cause of tears and sorrow.

Is this Sex and the City in a new avatar? A story four women in New York? Or Paris or any other fashion capital of the world?

No. Guess again. In fact you are allowed to take a few more guesses. For a hint squint at the pic below.

For the setting is Riyadh, one of the most conservative and restrictive capitals of the world. Where women are forbidden to drive. Forbidden to appear in public without covering their bodies in the tent-like abaya. Also forbidden is mixing with the opposite gender. If all this appears dull and claustrophobic, just flip through Rajaa Alsanea's Girls of Riyadh to get a picture that is a complete turnabout.

Gamrah, Sadeem, Lamees and Michelle (or Mashael) belong to the elite Saudi society and are at ease in both worlds. However, their ambitions are often in conflict with the desires of their conservative families. At trying times such as these, it is their friendship that provides succor.

Their stories appear as a series of posts on an Internet forum by an anonymous narrator. As the events in the girls' lives unfold in weekly installments, there is a tremendous response from the subscribers to the group. Week after week, like a modern day Scheherazade, the narrator weaves these questions, queries and thoughts of the readers into her story. What we have, then, is a wonderful kaleidoscope of enchanting dreams and ambitions, friendship and understanding, romance and bitterness and all that young women the world over experience as they come of age.

Apart from the huge controversy generated in Saudi Arabia by religious extremists who demanded and obtained a ban on the book (the ban was recently lifted), the author has faced harsh criticism for portraying a Saudi world of the wealthy and elite - a world so rich in opportunity and luxury that the women characters are shown to holiday in Europe and elsewhere to mend their broken hearts. This is somewhat justified as the book does or says nothing for the majority of Saudi women for whom social injustice and lack of economic opportunities prevent a decent life.

Frivolous and funny; yet sad and poignant in places, this tale of four friends as they jostle between tradition and modernity and find their own balance in a conservative society can become a zeitgeist for Saudi women to recognize human needs above tradition.

(Some recommended readings on abayas, veils, niqab and burkinis.


Blogger Shreemoyee said...

The recommended reading links are quite interesting, Thanks.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Nautilus said...

Sounds very interesting! Just put a hold on it in the local library.

10:38 PM  
Blogger shampa said...

let me warn you that it is in the "middle eastern chick lit" genre!!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Nautilus said...

oh, don't worry!! I'm all for middle-eastern chick-lits!! :D Have you read the new Khaled Hosseini book?

8:39 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 12.16
louis vuitton handbags, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, uggs outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin, tiffany jewelry, ralph lauren outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, uggs on sale, prada handbags, nike free, nike air max, christian louboutin, louboutin uk, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, replica watches, tory burch outlet, longchamp bags, burberry factory outlet, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet, louboutin shoes, michael kors, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, replica watches, cheap jordans, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors handbags, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, ralph lauren polo

10:10 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike tn pas cher, burberry pas cher, nike roshe run pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, jordan pas cher, sac guess pas cher, new balance, nike roshe uk, michael kors uk, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max uk, hollister uk, michael kors, nike air max uk, coach purses, lunette ray ban pas cher, timberland pas cher, longchamp soldes, ray ban uk, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, north face uk, abercrombie and fitch UK, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike free, north face pas cher, polo ralph lauren uk, true religion outlet, lunette oakley pas cher, lululemon outlet, mulberry uk, longchamp pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike trainers uk, michael kors, true religion outlet, nike air max, nike blazer pas cher, converse, replica handbags, louboutin pas cher, hermes pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, polo lacoste pas cher, nike air max pas cher, true religion jeans, nike air force, nike free pas cher

10:12 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

timberland boots, insanity workout, iphone 6s cases, oakley, softball bats, babyliss pro, iphone 6s plus cases, hollister clothing, hermes handbags, salvatore ferragamo, louboutin, gucci, hollister, beats by dre, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, ray ban, soccer jerseys, polo ralph lauren, instyler ionic styler, mac cosmetics, iphone cases, new balance shoes, vans scarpe, nike air max, nfl jerseys, celine handbags, soccer shoes, bottega veneta, vans outlet, nike air max, s6 cases, ghd hair, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, mont blanc, nike roshe run, p90x workout, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, iphone 6 cases, reebok outlet, lululemon outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, converse, north face outlet, ipad cases, jimmy choo outlet

10:15 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

sac louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, louis vuitton uk, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, converse shoes outlet, sac louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, moncler uk, moncler, moncler, canada goose jackets, canada goose, barbour, juicy couture outlet, moncler jackets, barbour jackets uk, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, replica watches, karen millen uk, moncler pas cher, moncler, ugg pas cher, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, hollister, swarovski uk, canada goose pas cher, links of london uk, pandora jewelry, lancel, doke & gabbana, canada goose jackets, thomas sabo uk, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, bottes ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, pandora charms, swarovski jewelry, wedding dresses uk, ugg uk, toms shoes, pandora uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia
ninest123 12.16

10:17 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home