Customer Reviews for

Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2006

    It sure opened my eyes...

    I was a little hesitant to pick up this book and boy am I glad I did. It's a quick, easy read and really opens the eyes of any woman to see what it would be like in the country of Saudi Arabia. I'm blessed to be able to have my freedom and make my own choices and raise my children the way I'd like. A must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    Unfair reviews

    I just finished this book, and it definitely opened my eyes to a world that is completely foreign to me. Carmen writes with honesty, and she doesn't attempt to explain things she doesn't understand. This is truly an autobiography---it is her story, from HER perspective. To that end, I'm surprised at how critical the reviews have been, people claiming she only saw her side of it, that maybe the Bin Laden women were happy and she just couldn't see it---I wonder if any of these people can claim they've grown up in a western society, then moved to Saudi Arabia after marrying into one of the wealthiest and most notorious families of the middle east? Probably not! So how can they know? There are few surprises here, but its still a fascinating read and I recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Good read

    A quick read. Entertaining and an interesting snap shot into how quickly things can change and the unfortunate fall out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    Fascinating perspective on life in Saudi Arabia

    As a former teacher of world cultures, I was delighted to read this memoir. In the light of her Irani background (although admittedly it was before the Shah's deposition), Carmen's dismay at the life of women in the Bin Ladin household was an eye opener. Her insights into the way the Bin Ladin family worked, and the disparities she records between the behavior of the Bin Ladin males in Saudi Arabia vs. in Switzerland and the USA were fascinating. This book is easy to read and comprehend, even though the message is an unpleasant one. In light of our increasing dependence on Saudi Arabia and its oil, this should be required reading in our schools.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2004

    Harsh Land

    The best part of Carmen Bin Ladin's story is her openness and honesty about herself and others, for good or bad. She lifts the veil on the ultra rich Saudi women she socializes with and strongly infers that their male dominated lives, shut-in and deprived of all intellectual stimulation, has dwarfed and broken their spirit and potential. One sisters-in-law prays five times a day, but has no remorse when her young husband dies and she actually appears quite relieved that he will no longer be able to arbitrarily divorce her. The imposition of layers and layers of dominance and submission, male over female and brother over brother, distorts and stresses relationships. Love and kindness become confused with material goods. But, Carmen Binladin is not easy on herself either, as she also reveals her deepest feelings and private moments that many of us would prefer to keep secret. What Carmen Bin Ladin says is not politically correct, and just as her Saudi sisters-in-law believe in their superiority, she makes no bones about her own love of her western values, freedoms and way of life. A life she was so very fearful her daughters would be deprived of forever if they remained in a land that denied them even the right to walk across the street without being fully veiled and chaperoned by a male guardian. But, even worse, she feared, that if her daughters continued to grow up there and were educated and influenced by that culture, their spirits would be broken forever and they would never wish for anything else. Ms. Binladin also makes a point of explaining the huge financial support that the Saudis give to spread their Wahhabi Islamic sect throughout both the mid east and the western world, and that the Saudis have never accepted that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 and that in Saudia Arabia he is considered a heroic and pious man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2004

    Interesting to hear an insiders perspective...

    The book is very well written, engulfing the reader within no time in her world. The amount of limitations that these Arabs place on their female population is utterly outrageous, but doesn't seem easy to change as so many females themselves appear very devoted and proud to be good Arabian women. The only annoyance I had with her book was her need to point out all the great things she did (like encouraging her husband to finish his college studies). Even though a dose of self-admiration can often be found in autobiographies, the need to put oneself in the best light makes the story less reliable. Yet, it is very courageous of Carmen to speak out against the Bin Laden family in that they would still be protecting Osama. Hopefully, her speaking out will influence the public opinion of Saudi-Arabia and the ties to Al qaeda so action for change will be undertaken.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

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