Taboo: The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area

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9780195794120: Taboo: The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area
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The book is a journey of discovery into the infamous red light district of Lahore, Pakistan, known as the Shahi Mohalla (the Royal Bazaar), of Heera Mandi (the market of diamonds). The phenomenon of prostitution coupled with music and dance performances had ancient roots in South Asia. Regardless of the stigma attached to prostitution, it has given birth for centuries to many well known performing artists. The book paints a more realistic picture of the phenomenon through the stories of the people living there: the musicians, the prostitutes, and their pimps, managers and customers.

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About the Author:

Fouzia Saeed, with a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota, has spent the past twelve years in positions related to the task of engendering social change in Pakistan, with organizations like National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Aga Khan Foundation, and UNDP, Pakistan. She was a founder of the first private organization in Pakistan providing direct services to women in psychological crises, especially those related to rape and domestic violence.

Review:

`the book breaks the myth propagated about prositutes in the society and presents the reality of their lives as they exist.' The News on Sunday, November 4 2001

`The study reads like a novel with real life details about conversations, hospitality. humour and temper, making for highly interesting reading.' Dr Tariq Rahman, Newsline, November 2001

`Fouzia Saeed's research was extremely difficult and risky ... But she persisted and finally came up with this unique piece of research.' Dr Tariq Rahman, Newsline, November 2001

`the latest scholarly work on this subject.' Dr Tariq Rahman, Newsline, November 2001

"Fouzia Saeed's work is original and extremely significant. It is one of those rare undertakings which a bold and enterprising researcher comes up with, once in decades." Dr Tariq Rahman, Newsline, November 2001

`It is a product of authentic, honest and unbiased research, narrated in the form of an ethnography, which is an important tool for taking one aspect of a society as a window into the larger system.' Star Weekend, November 3 2001

`to the eternal credit of the author, she has been able to resist the temptation of siting in judgment over anyone on account of morality or social pressure.' Star Weekend, November 3 2001

"Fouzia Saeed's book....is a product of authentic, honest and unbiased research, narrated in the form of an ethnography, which is an important tool for taking one aspect of a society as a window into the larger system." Humair Ishtiaq, Star Weekend, Saturday, November 3, 2001

"...an extremely gripping book, bristling with facts..." Amina Kamal Khan, The Nation Literary Supplement, October 2001

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Saeed, Fouzia
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