IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN : A FEMALE DOCTOR'S JOURNEY IN THE SAUDI KINGDOM
by Quanta A. Ahmed
Before 9/11, Ahmed, a British-born Muslim of Pakistani origin, leaves the U.S. and goes to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to practice medicine. It was an opportunity that she couldn't pass up. She believes that because she is Muslim, she will have no problem fitting in. Instead, she finds an environment filled with contradictions and a clash between modern and medieval.
The book opens with Ahmed's first patient, an elderly Bedouin woman lying naked on an examining table, with her face veiled, which is required by the Kingdom.
Women must be covered at all times in public even in the hospital where Ahmed worked as a doctor. It is a suffocating and oppressive existence.
Men are free to go wherever they please, to drive, to walk around. Not so for women. They must be always chaperoned, are not allowed to drive, have to be careful no matter where they are.
Ahmed lived in Saudi Arabia for two years and learned how to re-create herself. In a society that is extremely racist and intolerant, she found honesty and love.
In the Land of Invisible Women is a journey that most people will never take, but it's important to know about.
A fascinating and revealing memoir.