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Muslim Women's Experiences

Though their religion is the same, their experiences are varied. From Cairo to California, from Iran to Afghanistan, these women make physical and spiritual journeys for the sake of their faith and for the sake of survival. This list was created to enhance the library's Muslim Journeys programming throughout 2013, sponsored through a grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom
R692.A346 2008

The story of British Muslim doctor Qanta Ahmed, who accepts a position in Saudi Arabia. Ahmed provides an account of what she finds there: conflicts, contradictions, and unexpected revelations about herself and her own faith.

 

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
HQ784.C55 A4513 2010

Nujood Ali is a 10-year-old Yemeni girl forced by her poverty-stricken family into marriage with an older man. She tells the story of her escape from her abusive husband and in-laws and of the legal battle that won her divorce and brought international attention to the plight of underage brides in Middle Eastern countries.

 

The Dancer from Khiva: One Muslim Woman's Quest for Freedom
DK948.863.B54 A3 2008x

Bibish experienced an early life of hardship and violence in her native Uzbekistan. She tells the story of her flight from her homeland to Russia, her struggle to overcome the forces of patriarchy and childhood trauma, and her quest to follow her dream of being a dancer.

 

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad
HQ1236.5.S58 D57 1998

Waris Dirie, a native of Somalia, was 12 years old when she fled a life of poverty, oppressive patriarchy, and arranged marriage. Dirie's brave journey took her from Mogadishu to London, where she has since built a successful and influential life as a model and a human rights ambassador to the United Nations.

 

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
E184.I5 D86 2003x

Presents a humorous account of Firoozeh Dumas and her family's journey from Iran to Southern California in 1972. Explores her family's adjustment to American culture, the social difficulties they faced during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran hostage crisis, and everyday life in an Iranian-American family.

 

Love in a Headscarf
HQ1170.J36 2010

Tells the story of a Muslim woman living in the West, her relationship with her faith, and her experiences with both divine and romantic love. Janmohamed, originally from South Asia, shares her experiences growing up in North London, her reflections on the post-9/11 world, and her adventures in the dating scene during her search for a husband.

 

Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood
CT2678.M47 A3 1995x

Explores the life of a young girl growing up in a Moroccan harem in the 1940s. Mernissi confronts themes such as the place of women and feminism in Islam, the complexities of family and culture, and the conflict between Moroccan nationalism and French colonialism throughout the mid-twentieth century.

 

Persepolis
PN6747.S245 Z46 2003x

Recounts the experiences of a girl whose childhood is torn apart by the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Satrapi tells her story in two graphic novel volumes, sharing her family's involvement in the volatile political climate of the time, her turbulent teenage years spent at school in Austria, and her emotional return to her homeland as a young woman.

 

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
DS375.K2 T94 2011

Kamila Sidiqi, an Afghan woman, was banned from teaching school when the Taliban took control of the country. Sidiqi, suddenly in the position of caregiver for her five siblings when her father and brother are forced to flee Kabul, rises above these hardships and builds a successful sewing business.

 

The Butterfly Mosque
BP170.5.W55 2010x

Wilson shares the story of her physical and spiritual journey from Boulder, Colorado to Cairo, Egypt, where she finds fulfillment as a convert to Islam. She reflects upon the insights and revelations that she gained from falling in love with an Egyptian physics teacher, the complications of embracing Islam in the post-9/11 world, and the quest to build a personal culture that combines the cultures of both East and West.