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Feb 9, 2004

Soheir Khashoggi's Mirage 

I'd ask all women to read this novel by Soheir Khashoggi, men too can read, but this is a must read for all women who love words and stories. It tells the story of Amira, a Muslim woman, rich, married into aristocracy, her harrowing escape into freedom and her new life afterwards.

Mirage unravels before a world were the women of the family are confined to an all-female living quarters, with little or no outside contact, how daughters are lost to marriage( (probably to a middle aged or older man) before they can have a decent education or even learn the basics of life. Amira leads a comparitively easier life as she belongs to the rich upper echelons of society but the story shows that even she is not free of the tentacles of a society which is bent upon imprisoning their women. It reads like a thriller, I read it non-stop till about 2 am, when I finally finished it and went to sleep. Mirage is a window in to a culture which is so alien to us that we might doubt its existence, go read it and thank your stars for having born in a society where even amongst all the other travails you can still exercise your free will.