A New York Times Bestseller
In 1974 Carmen married into the Bin Laden family. She was young and in love, an independent European woman about to join a complex clan and culture she neither knew nor understood. By 1988, she had separated from her husband and began a tough battle for custody of her three daughters. In this candid memoir, she dares to pull off the veils that conceal one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressive countries in the world.
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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, MaineFrom 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.
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Book Description Thorndike Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0786270675 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.2010125
Book Description Thorndike Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0786270675