'"Where you staying?" the Bedouin asked. "Why you not stay with me tonight - in my cave?"'
Thus begins Marguerite van Geldermalsen's story of how a New Zealand-born nurse came to be married to Mohammad Abdallah Othman, a Bedouin souvenir-seller from the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. It was 1978 and she and a friend were travelling through the Middle East when Marguerite met the charismatic Mohammad who convinced her that he was the man for her.
A life with Mohammad meant moving into his ancient cave and learning to love the regular tasks of baking shrak bread on an open fire and collecting water from the spring. And as Marguerite feels herself becoming part of the Bedouin community, she is thankful for the twist in fate that has led her to this contented life.
Marguerite's light-hearted and guileless observations of the people she comes to love are as heart-warming as they are valuable, charting Bedouin traditions now lost to the modern world.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Marguerite is from New Zealand. In 1978 she met Mohammad Abdallah in Petra, Jordan, married him and moved into his Nabataean cave. In 1985 they moved to the new Bedouin settlement, Umm Sayhoon. She was widowed in 2002. She has three children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although I enjoyed this book I came away feeling a little unsatisfied. The author says herself towards the end that the story she has given us is not the complete one - it is the rose-tinted version. Perhaps though I just wanted it to be another book, one with more background history and social commentary.
I met this author (and bought the book) in Petra, Jordan. It's a fascinating story about how a woman from New Zealand met, married and lives with a Bedouin man and his culture. Not to mention she lived in one of the 7 Wonders of the World. I highly recommend this book for people who plan to visit Jordan or the Middle East.
Still waiting for the book to arrive!
The glory of ancient Nabatean Petra, Jordan remains in fantastic ancient ruins, multitudinous caves and breathtaking rock formations. Bedouins resided in the caves, worked the tourist trade, and roamed throughout the ancient city until resettled into modern houses nearby. To think a woman from New Zealand left the comforts of home to marry a Bedouin, lived in a cave without electricity or running water, and became part of Petra's community, is an amazing story. It is a lifestyle few Westerners could endure. Told with humor, insight, and love, the story is a window into a culture bound by the oldest of traditions of reliance on each other. It is a fascinating story!