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American Chick in Saudi Arabia (English Edition)
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American Chick in Saudi Arabia (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Jean Sasson
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

It all begins with an ad in the newspaper. When Jean Sasson, a young Southern woman living in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, answers a call to work in the royal hospital in Saudi Arabia, what should have been a two-year stay turns into a life-changing adventure spanning over a decade. Over the years Jean is plunged into the hidden lives of the veiled women in Riyadh, where women are locked in luxurious homes and fundamentalist mutawas terrorize the streets. Jean meets women from all walks of life--a feisty bedouin, an educated mother, a conservative wife of a high-ranking Saudi, and a Saudi princess the world knows as Princess Sultana--all who open a window into Saudi culture and help to reshape Jean's worldviews. AMERICAN CHICK IN SAUDI ARABIA is the first installment in a heartfelt, inspiring memoir about Jean's thirty-year travels and adventures in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq.

Jean's first book THE RAPE OF KUWAIT, based on her eye witness reporting on the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops, was an immediate bestseller. Shortly thereafter she became a full-time writer. Her next three books, PRINCESS, PRINCESS SULTANA'S DAUGHTERS, and PRINCESS SULTANA'S CIRCLE, became international sensations as they were the first books to bring to the western world the shocking stories about life for women in Saudi Arabia. Jean is also the author of MAYADA, DAUGHTER OF IRAQ, about the prison experiences of an Iraqi journalist praised by Saddam Hussein; LOVE IN A TORN LAND: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter's Escape from Iraqi Vengeance which tells the story of a beautiful Kurdish woman; GROWING UP BIN LADEN: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us into Their Secret World; and FOR THE LOVE OF A SON: One Afghan Woman's Quest for Her Stolen Child. Her work has been featured in People, Vanity Fair,The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New York Post, The Sunday London Times, The Guardian, CNN, FOX, NBC, and many other news organizations.

Still traveling the world, Jean has made her homebase in Atlanta, Georgia where she is a passionate animal rights and women's rights supporter.


“ intimate account of a family life that became steadily more dangerous and forced pursuit of Osama’s jihadist dreams.” --Washington Post

"The startling truth behind veiled lives...frank and vivid" --Sunday Express

"Anyone with the slightest interest in human rights will find this book heart-wrenching." --Betty Mahmoody, bestselling author of NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER

"A fascinating narrative...devasting" --Robert Harris, Sunday Times

"Absolutely riveting and profoundly sad..." --People

"A chilling story...a vivid account of an air-conditioned nightmare..." --Entertainment Weekly

"Must-reading for anyone interested in human rights." --USA Today

"Shocking...candid...sad, sobering, and compassionate..." --San Francisco Chronicle

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 506 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 125 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1939481058
  • Editeur : Liza Dawson Associates (9 mai 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007VGD5SU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°126.120 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 VERY INTERESTING ! 4 mai 2013
Par angelique
Format:Format Kindle
this is a first part of the life of the author as expatriated from America to Saudi arabia. the life described there is very interesting and surprising to know. The author explain her life there with such intelligent and tolerant point of view. there is many fuinny moments but also some bad moments at the hospital where the author Jean Sasson used to work.

i advise every reader to spend day and night reading this first part of Jean sasson's Memoir because it is worth it. for the lover of Jean sasson style, i also advise to read "growing up binladin" which is also a very great book.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  133 commentaires
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The beginning of a fascinating memoir 21 mai 2012
Par Jaylia3 - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
When Jean Sasson moved to Saudi Arabia in her twenties she wasn't a journalist or a Middle Eastern scholar, but she's now the author of at least nine well received books on the people, especially the women, of that vital, sometimes volatile, always interesting region. This short revealing book is her own story of what her impressions were and what her life was like when she relocated across the world to work in a Saudi hospital. The conservative life style wasn't as uncomfortable for Sasson as it might have been because she didn't drink alcohol anyway and she was from a Southern town where modest dress was the norm, but some of the ways she saw women treated shocked her. In one instance, Sasson was out shopping with a woman who was mostly draped in the required tent-like outerwear, except that her forearms were uncovered. For that offense the woman was attacked and sprayed with red paint by a religious zealot while Sasson watched in horror and no one came to their aid. After other similarly upsetting instances Sasson vowed, somewhat naively at that point maybe, to encourage Saudi women change their lives. She was able to meet and get to know a variety of Saudi women, from Bedouins to princesses, but to her initial surprise some of those women felt sorry for her, almost thirty and with no husband for protection. The book offers an intriguing glimpse into the lives of these women, whose ways of thinking are so different from most people living in the West. American Chick in Saudi Arabia is the first installment of Sasson's memoirs and so is just about those early years. I'm eager to read the others as they come out. It will be fascinating to see how Sasson went from being an inexperienced, but determined and idealistic young woman working as a medical administrator, to being the celebrated author she is today.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I was there with Jean Sasson 17 mai 2013
Par Bill Larkworthy - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
I greatly enjoyed American Chick in Saudi Arabia, the first part of Jean Sasson's memoir. Jean and I were contemporaries in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She was the Queen Bee, the executive head of administrative and secretarial services. Among her many responsibilities Jean had twenty female secretaries to look after, a formidable task in itself, her bevy were mostly white, western and attractive to predatory Saudi males. I was one of the staff physicians, chief of gastroenterology.

Having written extensively about Saudi Arabia in my memoir, Doctor Lark: The Benefits of a Medical Education I was particularly fascinated by her take on her life and her views of the Magical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our perspectives were different yet many of our opinions run parallel - for instance our views on the inferior place of women in respect to men. And yet I found delight in comparing our experiences. When Jean first encountered a Saudi customs officer at Riyadh airport the young man was clearly bowled over by this American Chick with long blonde hair and said he hoped to see her again. My first encounter with a customs officer was with a young bearded Muslim whose ambition was to discover anything offensive that infidels were bringing into his country, the Kingdom of the holy shrines of Islam. The only despicable material he found in my baggage was a Punch magazine I had bought at London's Heathrow airport. Punch was a magazine of typically English humour which never ever carried anything of a smutty nature; but my man found a photograph of young ladies in swim-suits reclining around the rippling blue waters of a swimming pool. It was part of an advertisement for Kodak 35mm films. He shouted at me, he declared I was evil but because God was kind, "Allah Karim" he would forgive me, but next time he would send me to jail.

These and many other vignettes gave me recalls of half forgotten and mostly pleasurable memories. Being a man I met very few Saudi women socially but being a doctor I met many as patients. I recall one morning when I strode into my consulting suite and found an old Saudi lady sitting cross-legged on the examination couch. She was dressed only in a flimsy cotton examination gown which tied at the back - her face was uncovered. On seeing this European infidel, and she with an uncovered face, she immediately pulled the gown up over her face, revealing all her lower parts (from chest down) in all their drooping and wrinkled glory... but her modesty was intact, her face was covered.

Jean gives great and detailed descriptions of her encounters with Saudi women, accurate descriptions of such events as weddings and a daring episode when she disguised herself as a Saudi female in the traditional black head-to-toe garb. She visited a souk in that dress, had a patrolling muttawa (religious policeman) spotted her for what she was she would have been in a lot of trouble. He would undoubtedly do more than just thrash her with the cane he always carried. Jean has a sympathetic nature and gives a good account of the emotions stirred in her by her experiences. Her description of her encounter with an infant with hydrocephaly (a very large head due to blockage of brain fluid circulation) is touching and equally touching the plight of the baby's mother.

Evidently American Chick in Arabia resonates strongly with me but if I can take an objective stance I have to say that it is an easy read, full of interest and a view of a repressive world which still exists, albeit since our time, there have been a few concessions to modernity. I wish I could share her view that their lives would dramatically change for the better if only the women of Saudi would unite as per the Suffragette Movement. The roots of the male-dominated Saudi culture are deep and only by liberalisation starting from the top will the lot of women improve. That will mean modifying the extreme Islamic fundamentalist views of the Wahhabi cult which was an integral part of the unification of tribes which originally formed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I am forever in Jean's debt, she helped rescue me when I was jailed in Riyadh, but that's another story. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the next part of Jean Sasson's American Chick in Saudi Arabia.
61 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Reads Like a Tabloid: Sensationalized and Over-dramatized 7 mai 2013
Par Swedemom - Publié sur
Full disclosure: I'm an expat living in Riyadh. I fully expected this book to resonate with me. But during the entire book, I found myself seriously questioning this memoir as it felt over-dramatized and a little off. It is very clear that Sasson and I have had very different experiences in Saudi Arabia.

The author's overly dramatic style and hand-wringing was absolutely annoying. I am curious if other expats who have lived in Saudi Arabia liked this book or find it plausible.

I honestly have to question the validity and honesty of the author. There were a few things throughout the book that triggered warnings of inconsistency about the author, causing me to question if she had really experienced all she said or even if she really had that much interactions with Saudis. That said, I'm willing to give her the benefit of a doubt as she resided in Riyadh during a different period than that which I currently live. (I've been an expat in Riyadh for over a year now.)

Problems with the book:

1) Sasson gives a dramatic account where she daringly dons the abaya, hijab, and veils her entire face and visits a souk. She makes the point that what she is doing is very taboo and dangerous. I found myself scoffing out loud. Expat women have been wearing abayas since the Gulf War in the 90s. Even in the 80s Saudi society would have loved to have western women wear the abaya. Secondly, it isn't that difficult to walk around in an abaya. Yes, it is hot and uncomfortable, but it doesn't inhibit free movement. Western women are often asked to cover their hair by the muttawa. Since the author says she has striking blonde hair, I'm sure she was often approached by the muttawa and asked to cover her hair. Women with red and blonde hair are often hassled by the muttawa because they stand out so much.

2) Yes the muttawa are awful. They really are. But they don't terrorize the street like the book description and author imply. They can be scary, but I've never seen the muttawa carry a stick or whip to flog people. Sasson says she lived in Saudi Arabia in the 80s.
Edit: I've since spoken with a few long-time residents of Riyadh and they confirmed that the muttawa did carry sticks to tap people on the offending part of their body. I'm glad the muttawa has improved since then.

3) I'm skeptical that the author was frequently invited to the homes of Saudi women. I don't doubt that she received occasional invitations, but Saudis are very private people and while they are hospitable to westerners, they don't often invite them to breach the inner sanctum of the home. I know a lot of expat women and very few of them have ever received invitations to a Saudi home. I recently attended a dinner with my husband with his Saudi colleagues (most of whom had been educated in western countries and were quite familiar with western culture and norms) and I was the only woman there. The Saudi men had left their wives at home, including the host.

4) Sasson makes wild assumptions about the Saudis she encounters in the airport. She doesn't make it clear that she really has no idea about the back stories of fellow travelers. It felt like she chose the most shocking and wild ideas to share with her readers, like the Saudi man traveling with his four wives and large brood of children.

5) The story of the wealthy and buxom Saudi lady seemed strange and pointless. I think the author was trying to juxtapose the marriage of other Saudi woman who was basically tied to her husband without any help who kept having children with serious medical and genetic conditions, but the comparison fell short.

The only thing I absolutely agreed with the author on is that the only way change will occur in Saudi Arabia is if the women unite and take a stand for more independence and freedom.

Bottom line: I think this is a sensationalized book about Saudi Arabia, which may or may not really reflect true stories. I think it is a book that westerners would like because it confirms what they already believe or think about the country. But I think that Saudis would be offended by it and feel like the author doesn't really know or didn't really experience living in their country.

Edited to add: In the comments, many people have said that I do not have the right to question the truth of this memoir. I disagree. Even President Obama's memoir has been called into question. Memoirs are always subject to scrutiny. Anytime a person presents a work as factual, readers are obligated to assess it. Our memories are always colored by our perceptions, knowledge, and limitations.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 First installment 16 décembre 2012
Par DubaiReader - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
My initial reaction to this 80 page, first installment of Jean Sasson's memoir is, why only 80 pages? Why has this been issued as just a sample? Personally, although I did enjoy this, I found it a bit frustrating that it was only part of a more complete book.

Jean became famous as the author of the rather shocking book, Princess. This was an insight into the hidden lives of women in Saudi Arabia, particularly the Princess known as Princess Sultana.
The first part of her recent memoir explains how she came to be working in Saudi and the origin of her mission to persuade Saudi women that they must fight for their freedoms and live a full life.
There are three wonderful characters revealed in this installment, a Bedouin woman who has had a satisfying life and has no problems about wearing the veil, an educated young mother who has married her cousin and cannot give birth to a healthy baby and a woman who's only purpose in life is to please her dominant husband.

This is not as good as my previous reads by this author and I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. It was because I had read two of her other books that I was particularly interested in her story, but I prefer her biographical works.
I particularly dislike the title which would not have attracted me if I'd seen the book on a shelf.

Awaiting the next installment.

Also read:
Princess (4 stars)
Mayada: Daughter of Iraq (4 stars)
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Tread softly in a foreign land. 2 mai 2013
Par Catherine Gosden - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I know this story began many years ago, and hindsight is a great thing, but, I was shocked at the insensitive approach taken by the author when she was settling into Saudi Arabia. I have lived in the Middle East and can only say, softly softly. I cringed at the approach of this foreigner who thought she could make instant change. This book made me feel uncomfortable.
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