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Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Carmen Bin Ladin
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13. Juni 2005
She Married Osama Bin Laden's Brother. Now She Dares to Tell Her Story. This international bestseller gives the shocking account of what it's like to be a woman-even a wealthy woman from a privileged family-in Saudi Arabia today. In an unprecedented act, Carmen Bin Ladin dares to throw off the veil that conceals one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressive countries in the world-and the Bin Laden family's role within it.

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  • Taschenbuch: 224 Seiten
  • Verlag: Grand Central Publishing; Auflage: Reprint (13. Juni 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0446694886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446694889
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,9 x 1,6 x 22,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 282.577 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, WAS ONE OF THE MOST TRAGIC dates of our lifetimes. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting. 4. August 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Amazing story and view of life inside this family. Intersting from beginning to end. The life that this lady has lead is unbelieveable. Great book.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  176 Rezensionen
142 von 148 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting memoir of how people live in Saudi Arabia 13. September 2004
Von B. McEwan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a very interesting tale from the sister-in-law of Osama Bin Laden, who was married to one of his many brothers until the mid-1990s. While the author does comment on Osama from time to time, the real interest of the book is her insider's perspective on how the Saudi Arabs behave, the women as much as the men.

I found myself having a lot of compassion for people who live so bifurcated a life as the author says the Saudis do. She relates many instances of Saudi women and men behaving entirely differently when visiting Europe than they do in their daily lives in their own country. And she tells of some of her own behaviors that would seem entirely appropriate to most of us -- such as walking across the street to her sister-in-law's home -- that were scandalous for a woman to do in Saudi Arabia. Apparently, accepted practice was for a woman to be DRIVEN IN A CAR across the street, since to appear in public, even covered by a black abaya (aka chador, aka burkha), was immodest according to the Saudi's fanatically strict interpretation of Islam. These guys are so afraid of women that it would be laughable if their treatment of women weren't so criminal. And the older Saudi women are as bad as the men, forcing young women to adopt codes of behavior that reduce them to chattel property of the men in their families.

And the author doesn't shy away from pointing out the role that money plays in Saudi society. Like everywhere else in the world, when money talks, everybody walks, but the incredible wealth of the Bin Ladens sets them above the inhuman strictures of Saudi society so that they were -- and presumably still are --able to escape much of the oppression that afflicts those of more modest means. One wonders how the poor survive in that society.

The scariest part of the book for me -- and, trust me, there are many frightening parts -- is when the author characterizes Saudi women as pets, who are kept inside the home ALL OF THE TIME and expected to greet husbands and brothers with joy when the men deign to arrive at home and venture into the women's part of the house. (Yeah -- women live among themselves in a sort of harem arrangement.) And because they are inside all of the time, women are prone to vitamin defficiencies and other diseases brouht on by lack of fresh air, sunlight and exercise. One is reminded of animals that are kept in tiny stalls their whole lifes and used only for breeding.

This stuff is truly unbelieveable, which is probably why intelligent Western women continue to be suckered into marriages with guys like Yesalem bin Ladin, to whom the author was married for many years. Who would actually think that a man who professes to love you could treat you in such a barbaric manner?

Once it was clear to him that his wife was getting a divorce, Yesalem bin Ladin tried to forcibly take the author's children from Europe to Saudi Arabia, doubtless never to be seen again. Then, when he failed to do that, Yesalem bin Ladin cut his children completely off, even refusing to speak to one of his daughters during a chance encounter on a European street.

There is a lot of food for thought in this book, which can be read quickly but will stay with you for a long while after you finish. The free nations of the world will do well to take seriously the challenges posed by societies such as that of Saudi Arabia.
99 von 105 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Couldn't Put It Down! 1. August 2004
Von Nancy C. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book this morning, started it this afternoon and it is now early evening and I just finished it. I will be passing this book on to my three daughters. Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, tells a love story of herself as an independent European woman falling in love with Yeslam bin Ladin, a half-brother to the infamous Osama.

Carmen is accustomed to living in Europe, mainly Switzerland, and she and her husband also spend time in California. Family matters take them back to Saudi Arabia where she is always an outsider and a foreigner. Life really begins to change in 1979 when Saudi Arabia begins to turn back to the strict rules of Wahabi Islam after the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. Life for women and all females becomes even more oppressive, to put it mildly.

I once worked in a bank where one of the many Saudi Princes had his accounts while attending college in Calif. His free spending habits and the arrogance of his groupies was mind-boggling. Carmen bin Ladin tells of the exhorbitant wealth of the royals and some of the decadence.

The author's struggle to raise her three daughters as independent, educated thinkers and her crumbling marriage against the backdrop of the bin Ladin family is a wonderful read.
44 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen answers many questions 17. Juli 2004
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Have you ever wondered how on earth a Western woman could marry a man from a culture that is totally alien to hers? In Inside the Kingdom, Carmen Bin Laden tells the story of how she went from being a free spirited Swiss schoolgirl to the wife of one of the members of the Saudi Arabian Bin Laden clan. It was easy. She was young, he was charming, handsome, rich and seemingly easy going. They fell in love. She thought they were going to live in America and Europe. She was wrong.
Imagine living in a place where it's against the law for you to show your face in public. Imagine not being able to go shopping even for your own clothes or personal items. Imagine shocking your in-laws becuase you want to go for a walk.
One of the most vivid and sad scenes from the book describes how Carmen's husband had to make special arrangements in order for her to go to a grocery store to buy baby formula. While she rushed to the baby section the customers (all male) left the store and the staff turned their backs to her.
Carmen quickly discovered to her horror that listening to music was considered sinful, reading books was considered odd and having a thought in one's pretty head was seen as completely unnatural.
Eventually, the marriage soured and Carmen decided to leave Saudi for the sake of her daughters. The book will attract attention of course because of the author's infamous brother-in-law, Osama (he was apparently a foreboding figure even as a young man) but it's more than a tragi-comic look into the Bin Laden home. This book is a clear eyed look at Saudi life.
Carmen Bin Laden went to Saudi thinking that modernity would prevail and that in a few years Saudi women would have more rights. She was wrong then and things don't look any better now. Since Saudi Arabia is ostensibly an American ally taking an honest look at it makes sense. Can such a culture really change? Are we fools to it expect to?
Inside the Kingdom is a very good book.I'm glad I bought it.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Ultimately A Dissapointment 23. April 2005
Von S. Reedman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
After reading Azar Nafisi's "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" I opened Carmen Bin Ladin's book with great anticipation. I was disappointed and yet I would recommend it. It was a quick easy read, eliciting no strong emotional or intellectual response. It is however the first glimpse of this life of a woman in "the Kingdom". It was interesting in the sense a tabloid can be interesting but at it's heart does not have the power to transform or enlighten the reader. I found her depiction of her life in Saudi much less tragic than I suspect it actually was. There is no depth of character in her main players. I would have loved to have more detail about her mohter and her grandmother in Iran. I wanted to know more about her own inner life and less about shopping and being wealthy.

I believe there is a rich life of emotions and loss and gain in all of her characters that we never really are allowed to see. I do not know why this book is so shallow. She seems an interesting and intelligent woman. I also ask what is the purpose of a memoir of this type. Kahaled Hosseini's life with his father in Afghanistan and later in America is deep with character struggle and growth. It is a social history as well as a personal one. The same is true of Azar Nafisi who manages to write literary criticism as well as social and political history that brought me closer to understanding what I believe Carmen Bin Laden tried to portray.

I hope Carmen Bin Laden turns her hand again to a relevent social and political discussion about the life of women in fundamentalist muslim communities in Saudi, or even the experience of her life in Europe. And I hope she finds more meat and less bone to offer.
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen AN UNBELIEVABLE MEMOIR YET IT'S TRUE 5. August 2004
Von Gail Cooke - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Audio CD
The first Iranian and Eastern actress to be nominated for an Oscar, Shohreh Aghdashloo received the nod for Best Supporting Actress in the memorable The House of Sand and Fog. Who more suited to read this amazing true story? She performs with delicacy, understanding, and a natural ease. All of this plus Carmen bin Laden's intimate memoir, her firsthand knowledge of a woman's lot in Saudi Arabia make this a can't stop listening-to audio book.

In 1974 when half-Swiss, half-Persian Carmen married Yeslam bin Laden, Osama's brother, she was a cultured woman with an international background, and she was in love. She didn't realize that with those wedding vows she was becoming part and parcel of a culture she did not know nor would she ever understand. "Parcel" may be an appropriate choice of words as under Saudi law a husband may divorce his wife and take her children. Carmen would find that to be true.

But, suddenly, she was thrust into a place where she was confined to her home, forbidden to read anything but the Koran or to go outside without wearing a long black garment that covered her face and body. How could she raise her three daughters as she knew they should be brought up in a society such as this? What of the other women who had married into this family; what was in their hearts and minds?

The marriage lasted 14 years, many of them painful. Then, in 1988, Yeslam divorced Carmen and her struggle to gain custody of her daughters began.

Listen as she relates her thoughts upon hearing of the Twin Towers tragedy, and hear her warnings for the future.

- Gail Cooke
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