Cover image for Inside the kingdom : my life in Saudi Arabia
Title:
Inside the kingdom : my life in Saudi Arabia
Author:
Bin Ladin, Carmen.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Voile déchiré. English
Edition:
First Warner Books edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, 2004.
Physical Description:
x, 206 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Nine Eleven -- A secret garden -- Falling in love -- My Saudi wedding -- America -- Life with the Bin Ladens -- The patriarch -- Life as an alien -- Two mothers, two babies -- My own chief inmate -- The brothers -- 1979 -- Yeslam -- Little girls -- A Saudi couple -- Sisters in Islam -- Princes and princesses -- Leaving Saudi Arabia.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780446577083
Format :
Book

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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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HQ1730.Z75 B5613 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Osama bin Laden's former sister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually inti- mate look into Saudi soci-ety and the bin Laden family's role within it, as well as the treatment of Saudi women. On September 11th, 2001, Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her ex-brother-in-law was involved in these hor-rifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again. Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, married into-and later divorced from-the bin Laden family and found herself inside a complex and vast clan, part of a society that she neither knew nor understood. Her story takes us inside the bin Laden family and one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressed kingdoms in the world.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Married in 1974 to Osama Bin Laden's older brother, Carmen Bin Laden spent nine years futilely attempting to adjust to both the conservative, tight-knit Bin Laden clan and the repressive Saudi culture she was naively unprepared to face. Half-Swiss and half-Persian, Carmen was raised in relative freedom in Europe. Carried away by romantic notions of love and loyalty, she initially struggled to bridge the gap between her background as an independent Western woman and Middle Eastern expectations of female submission and subservience. Life among the huge Bin Laden clan was especially treacherous since they claimed myriad complex ties to the Saudi royal family. After the birth of three daughters, with her Western-educated husband becoming increasingly parochial and reactionary, she realized it was time to shuck the abaya0 that literally and figuratively concealed the woman she once was and desperately wanted to be again. Although the notorious Osama Bin Laden appears a few times in the book and his name is bandied about to hook readers, the real story is Carmen's bid for self-actualization within a society and a family that harshly resisted and rejected every minor challenge to traditional wisdom and authority. A riveting testament to courage and determination, this intimate memoir of one woman's spiritual reawakening and odyssey has best-seller written all over it. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Addicted to the "I-married-the-Mob" genre? Try this variation: smart women who marry Islamic fundamentalists. In 1973, Swiss-born Carmen fell in love with Yeslam bin Ladin, Osama's older brother; after a fairy-tale courtship, including a semester together at USC, the two married in Saudi Arabia. Alas, it wasn't long before the fantasy turned sinister. By Saudi Wahhabi custom, women are usually confined to the home. Activities like listening to music or reading books other than the Koran are either sinful or shameful. Only Carmen's young daughters, occasional international trips and her dear, understanding husband helped her cope. Then, things worsened. The 1979 Saudi mobilization to support Afghan Muslims against the Soviet invasion gave religious hard-liners like Osama more clout. Carmen's husband, now a successful Geneva businessman, reverted to a more orthodox lifestyle. Finally, in 1988, Yeslam divorced Carmen, but by bringing charges against her in Saudi Arabia, made certain she feared for her life-and her daughters' freedom-if she ever again entered an Islamic country. Beyond Carmen's terrible story hovers the larger, later tragedy of 9/11. Remember, Carmen warns, the bin Laden brothers have always supported each other, financially and socially. When Osama dies, he'll certainly be replaced. The gravity of the events Carmen writes of, her insider's perspective and her engaging style make this memoir a page-turner. Photos. Agent, Susanna Lea. (July 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Half-Swiss and half-Persian, the author has plenty to say about former brother-in-law Osama. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.