Customer Reviews for

In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

What a wonderful book!

I found "In the Land of Invisible Women" absolutely compelling reading. The perspectives of a woman who is a physician, a world traveler, and also deeply religious allowed me views of Saudi Arabia and its women that were intense and memorable. I expect that men reader...
I found "In the Land of Invisible Women" absolutely compelling reading. The perspectives of a woman who is a physician, a world traveler, and also deeply religious allowed me views of Saudi Arabia and its women that were intense and memorable. I expect that men readers would find this just as interesting as women readers. As a physician, Dr. Ahmed gives a scientist's-eye-view of life in the Kingdom. As a woman who speaks fluent Arabic, she was welcome in the inner circles of other women and could provide a rich picture of these women's lives and interests as well as their views of the difficulties they face as women in such a stern, difficult society. As a sincere woman of faith, she took me vicariously on her own spiritual journey that, as a non-Muslim, I can never experience directly but as another woman of faith I can relate to intensely. I LOVED this book and recommend it with great enthusiasm.

posted by Happy_in_New_Haven on February 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Great Insight

Thought provoking. Great for learning and understanding women behind the veil without westernized biased filters.

posted by ReadingIsManna on October 17, 2009

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Insight

    Thought provoking. Great for learning and understanding women behind the veil without westernized biased filters.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Culture shock, even from someone who thought she knew what she was getting in to.

    This book has become somewhat dated as womens freedoms have improved since her stint in the Riyadh hospital but one wonders how much personal attitudes have changed and how much was imposed from the outside. The more interesting parts of this narrative came from the idea that as a darker skinned Muslim doctor, the author apparently thought she would fit in to this culture with more ease than most American Expats. However it appears that her gender and her origins (Pakistani American) significantly overpowered this, and even her more liberal coworkers had significant biases. THe writing is a bit choppy and at times vicious (for instance in the way she describes the physical attributes of people she has less respect for or who have less social standing) which made the book harder to read. But the vignettes are revealing, of the authors admitted weaknesses and those of the people around her. The profound anti Semitism of some of her associates, even after years on fellowship to American and Canadian medical facilities where they worked and socialized with much admired Jewish professors and medical staff was shocking, as was the celebration of the fall of the Two Towers on 9/11 by female OBGyns. Worth reading, but a book by someone who is from the area might be better if you have to choose.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2013

    The book was fairly well written.  However, Dr Ahmed seems heavy

    The book was fairly well written.  However, Dr Ahmed seems heavy on detailed descriptions of various luxury watches, clothing, etc sported by her friends, male & female.  Also, as an educated Muslim woman, why did she just jump into the job in Saudi without researching or checking out the country & its deplorable customs, esp. toward women?  And with all its descriptions of the physical attributes of men & women she met, the book almost sounded like chick-lit at times.  Having said that, I strongly recommend the chapters on the Hajj(pilgrimage) to Mecca.  They give a detailed account of the millions of pilgrims (rich & poor), the transportation & lodging difficulties, & best of all her own epiphany at the Kaaba as she discovers the power & presence of her God.  Finally, her confrontations with the Men in Brown, the Religious Police, are truly frightening to read.  Beware the Mutaween!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Quite Interesting - Learn something new!

    A very informative novel giving one insight to the plight of the Muslim women through a professional perspective....in medicine.
    Unlike other novels where Muslim women were the main characters, Ahmed, writes in the first person and shares her thoughts as well as the biases that exist between Muslims from different countries and classes.
    Definitely an education when reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    I've been to the Kingdom

    I am a female and I travel to the Kingdom for business purposes. Many of the author's comments are reflective of life in Saudi. She has a tendency to be heavy on the adjectives but the book will give you a good idea of what it is like to be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Great read

    Very interesting perspective. It was great to experience Saudi Arabia from Dr. Ahmed's vantage point. At times, a bit wordy, but overall, an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    Not what I expected--but not bad

    I thought this was going to be a more medical book, with anecdotes about treating patients and what were common and unusual ailments in Saudi Arabia. Instead it was about a Muslim woman living in America who goes to Saudi Arabia as a doctor. The book is really about the women's culture(s) in that country and how the experience deepened the author's Islamic faith.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Ftyhvcv

    Dumb

    0 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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