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Ebook Minaret by Leila Aboulela read! Book Title: Minaret
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Reader ratings: 7.5
The author of the book: Leila Aboulela
Edition: Bloomsbury Press
Date of issue: August 7th 2006
ISBN: 0747579423
ISBN 13: 9780747579427
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.98 MB
City - Country: No data

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This is a simple and clearly written story which takes a different look at the tensions within Islam, between men and women and life as an immigrant. Najwa is born into a high-ranking family in Sudan; she is a Muslim, but a secular one which consists mostly of good works. Her father is a business man who is closely connected to the regime. Najwa is studying to go to university and her life is westernised and privileged. She meets Anwar, also studying, but he is radical and left wing. He teases her about her family and connections. Then there is a coup and Najwa, her brother and mother flee to Britain; her father is arrested and hung. Over time Najwa’s life disintegrates; her mother dies, her brother is imprisoned for drug related offences. She meets Anwar again and they have a relationship, but she discovers his view of it is very different to hers and she is left humiliated. This takes the story from the mid 80s to the early 90s. The narrative jumps between the mid 2000s and earlier so the plot is not revealed in a linear way.
Najwa becomes increasingly religious and over time takes work as a maid to wealthy Middle Eastern families and starts to wear the hijab. Najwa works for one particular family as a maid/childminder and becomes involved in some of the complex relationships within the household.
What I found most interesting was the behind the scenes in the women’s side of the mosque, which provided insight in the community of women, which was gentle and supportive. This was in contrast to the men’s side; which although we don’t see it, we sense the different atmosphere and the tensions and much more competitive and aggressive form of religion. This has a particular effect on Tamar, the young man in the household Najwa works for.
The usual assumptions that a westernised approach to life is always better and that Islam is fundamentally problematic are challenged. The growth of Najwa as a character is interesting as is her interactions with the other characters. Essentially, apart from being a story of personal change and adaption to circumstance Aboulela reminds us that the issue of extremism is more of an issue in the community of men, rather than in the community of women. It is also a window into a hidden life in the women’s section of the mosque which is communal, supportive and often centred around children. It was a refreshing perspective, a well put together novel, which adds a great deal to the general debate about the interface of religion, culture and politics which continues in all mixed societies.

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Ebook Minaret read Online! Leila Aboulela grew up in Khartoum, Sudan where she attended the Khartoum American School and Sister School. She graduated from Khartoum University in 1985 with a degree in Economics and was awarded her Masters degree in statistics from the London School of Economics. She lived for many years in Aberdeen where she wrote most of her works while looking after her family; she currently lives and lectures in Abu Dhabi.

She was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000 for her short story The Museum and her novel The Translator was nominated for the Orange Prize in 2002, and was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times in 2006.

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After this book, I look at the world with different eyes!


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