One, is for the people of Egypt. Normally known, amongst Arabs anyways, as the happiest of people, you will rarely see one without a smile on their face. Ian and I often can guess a person's ethnicity as Egyptian only by the fact that their grin is from ear to ear. Fear and questions are reigning their life right now and my heart cries out for them to trust not in the government but in the Prince of Peace and the security that He provides.
Two, is for our friends that are workers in Egypt. They have been evacuated to surrounding countries but their hearts remain in Egypt where the people they love remain. Please lift these workers up in your prayers as they struggle with relocation and possible reassignment.
I thought it might be the perfect timing, when so many people are trying to understand the Arab mind, culture, and values, to bring up a book I have read recently.
Well, first, let me preface this by saying I have a TON of books I can recommend to you on this subject, but my favorites are probably "Honor and Shame," and "Foreign to Familiar." I would recommend these to anyone who was coming out to visit us because they are short, sweet, and get right down to the point of what these cultures are based off of.
However, this new book I have read was so intriguing, that despite its title, "Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia," by Jean Sasson, Ian read it as soon as I finished.
The book is non fiction but written in an easy to read narrative form and recounts the childhood and adolescence of an actual Saudi Arabian princess.
I'll warn you now. Life is not full of bon-bons and tiaras. The book is dark. The book makes you squirm. The book might even make your heart break for all that she and other women like her have gone through.
The redeeming factors remain in the fact that the book sheds light on a lifestyle that millions of women live every day. "Princess," challenges you to think through concepts that are probably foreign to you, such as early marriages and unequal punishments for men and women for the same misdeed.
The book also give you a good look at Arab history and day to day life that will widen your understanding of the world and the cultures that are not ours.
There are two more books that follow the first book, further looking at her married adult life and then the life of her daughters. I definitely want to read them but have chosen to wait a while in between before tackling them. Like I said, they are dark and they are not something you flippantly read in an afternoon then move on to something light and fluffy. It takes awhile to process and think over, but I definitely think it is worth the time and effort!
This book should widely be available in your area bookstore (or, at least it was when I worked in an American bookstore 2 years ago.)