The Sunday Salon: Free Read For Interested Viewers

October 26, 2008


Today’s Sunday Salon is about a free electronic book offer that you can get in on, if you are interested, at The LibraryThing.


I’ve been in touch with SourceBooks about the book In the Land of Invisible Women.  This book is of interest to me because of my strong beliefs in women’s rights and equality.  From what I understand, Dr. Qanta Ahmed’s In the Land of Invisible Women is nearing bestseller status.  SourceBooks has partnered up with to put together an electronic giveaway of 2,500 ebook downloads of her memoir about being a female physician in the Saudi Kingdom.  Here is the information on the book: 

In the Land of Invisible Women (ISBN: 978-14022-1087-7; September 2; $14.99 US / $15.99 CAN; Trade Paperback) is the story of a western-trained Muslim female doctor (Ahmed) who spent two years working in the top hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  What began as a job initiated by a visa problem, quickly became a struggle and search for self empowerment, freedom and the right to follow her own truth.


Dr. Ahmed’s memoir is a fascinating and revelatory window into an enigmatic world.  Like Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dr. Ahmed provides a telling picture of what daily life is truly like in the Saudi Kingdom.  She describes:


  • How physicians trained by Jewish doctors in the United States applauded and cheered when hijacked planes destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11
  • How men and women find marriage partners in a society that allows no dating and physical contact, and where they flee to have affairs
  • How Saudi women who are supported by advanced thinking parents and who must wear abbayas with their bodies fully encased are able to defy the Saudi’s oppressive rules and mores to become physicians
  • How she worked side-by-side with Wahabi scholars and physicians who seemed to shun her even in clinical contact
  • Why the religious police are so threatening and dangerous
  • How a father grieves
  • Her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy


Dr. Ahmed also evokes moments where she finds tenderness and true beauty in areas where she least expects it; at the tattered, curled edges of extremism. The last leg of her journey takes readers inside the Hajj, as she journeys to Mecca with 2.5 million other Muslims to perform the sacred duty incumbent upon every able-bodied Muslim in his or her lifetime.


In the Land of Invisible Women  is a fascinating look inside a culture that has become so

relevant to our own.


From October 27th – 31st, her book will be available for downloadto any LibraryThing member (membership is free).  Dr. Qanta Ahmed is going to make herself available to her readers by providing two weeks of author chat.  From what I understand, that means every week-night for two weeks, readers can post questions for Qanta on the LibraryThing website which she will then attempt to answer. 

So, if all of this sounds good to you, head on over to The LibraryThing and hook yourself up with an electronic copy!  I can’t wait to read your reviews… it’s on my TBR!

Best wishes for a relaxing Sunday, everybody!