Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia

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9780446694889: Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia

Osama bin Laden's former sister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually intimate look into Saudi society 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 horrifying 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.

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From AudioFile:

Carmen Bin Laden, a Swiss-Iranian raised in Geneva, married a brother of Osama in the U.S. Upon moving to Arabia, she was appalled by Saudi culture and later took refuge in Switzerland, where her marriage broke up. She gives an insider's look at what she describes as the suffocating, self-righteous, pathological Saudi culture, inimical to the West. A bone-headed literalism (if the author has an accent, so must the reader . . .) gives us Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo's nar-ration, earnest but slow and painfully awkward, and corny "Middle Eastern" music. But Bin Laden's message comes through, summed up in her reminder that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi. W.M. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Time Warner Trade Publishing, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Osama bin Laden s former sister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually intimate look into Saudi society 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 horrifying 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780446694889

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Book Description Time Warner Trade Publishing, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Osama bin Laden s former sister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually intimate look into Saudi society 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 horrifying 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780446694889

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