By Fadia Basrawi
Fadia, a Saudi Arab, grew up within the strictly circumscribed and tailored 'desert Disneyland' of Aramco (the Arabian American Oil Company). This slice of recent, suburban, heart the USA used to be positioned in Dharan, one of many top towns of Saudi Arabia, a theocratic Muslim nation run in line with strict Wahabbi Shari'a legislation. finally, after merely short vacation trips out of the country traveling kin in vibrant Arab towns like Medina, Damascus and Alexandria, Fadia moved to Beirut, the glitzy 'Paris of the center East', to wait highschool. In Beirut, she fell in love with a passionate and idealistic Lebanese journalist with whom she eloped opposed to her mom and dad' needs, for that reason getting stuck up in Lebanon's fifteen-year civil conflict whereas elevating a kinfolk of 5 childrens. delivering a desirable account of a Saudi woman's painful trip from naive Aramcon woman to lifestyles as a resident of a war-torn capital urban, this e-book presents new perception into very varied heart jap worlds approximately which so little is understood by way of these dwelling outdoors the area.
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Additional info for Arabia's Hidden America: A Saudi Woman's Memoir
Circling the base of the Christmas tree hedge were Santa’s faithful reindeer forever in take-off mode as they prepared to fly a gift-laden jovial, life-size Santa over the bungalows of the little Aramcons. But there was something not quite right about this Paradise. One step beyond Dhahran’s main gate, within the kingdom proper, muttawa’a agents for the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in charge of enforcing Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi Sharia (Islamic Law) were controlling the public morality of non-Aramcon Saudis with fanatical zeal.
We carolled the community on Christmas Eve with the rest of the schoolchildren from the back of Dhahran’s big red fire engine. ) were congregated. President Barger and his strikingly beautiful wife would emerge smiling graciously followed by their five leggy, athletic and accomplished children, our Aramcon royalty, carrying trays piled with freshly baked Christmas cookies. With the cookies warming our tummies, the fire engine rolled slowly onwards past Dhahran’s duplexes and bungalows which had been transformed into a dazzling cornucopia of iridescent lights twinkling and shining in the clear desert night air.
Amti Bahija was his trophy wife. She grew into a beautiful but intensely unhappy woman whose emotional scars from her early marriage and immense wealth were reflected by her hard-faced persona. Our entrance at her door said it all. Nubian servants dressed in long kaftans bowed silently as they ushered us to ‘Amti Bahija, visible from the entrance door across the interminable stretch of marble, seated in an ornate velvet armchair with legs crossed, dressed in the height of fashion and laconically blowing smoke rings from her cigarette (a favourite pastime of hers) as she waited silently for us to approach her.