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Rughum & Najda

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  15 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
RUGHUM & NAJDA is a love story set in the Islamic Golden Age of a ninth century Baghdad. Rughum and Najda are complete opposites: one is a devout Muslim; the other, a practitioner of black magic. While their passion transcends all difference, will they be able to rise above the obstacles of their complete different worlds? Samar Habib's historical novel is the first of ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published 2012 by Salaam Press
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Heather Rose
I desperately, desperately wanted to love this novel. Unfortunately, it fought me every step of the way.

Habib is a scholar of the history of sexuality, and particularly female same-sex desire, as reflected in medieval Arabic texts. This novel grew out of that research and weaves a complex portrait of the lives of several women recorded in 9th century Baghdad, at a time when it was possible--if not at all easy--for women who loved each other to make a place for themselves, sometimes in private bu
...more
Dorothea
Jun 30, 2012 Dorothea rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
(Thanks to Muslimah Media Watch/ for alerting me to this book's existence with a review!)

Rughum is a devout Muslim woman who is extremely good at two things: (1) memorizing and interpreting the Quran, and (2) swordfighting.

Najda is the adopted daughter of a Manichaean healing woman. She's beautiful, she's too agnostic to accept Islam, and she has good handwriting, which she figures out how to monetize.

This is the story of their true love. It takes place at the end of the reign of the Caliph Al-M
...more
Sam Berner
Oct 25, 2016 Sam Berner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
I am not into novels, and even less into writing reviews. I read this one because I have read Habib’s research on female homosexuality in the Middle East and found it fascinating. And I am glad that I did. The web of stories, like the web of narrow passages in the old bazaar’s of Baghdad; the complexity in simplicity; the adventures that bring back memories of Sinbad and One Thousand and One Nights; the strangeness of expression that forces you to read closely; and the historical research that ...more
H H
Dec 10, 2012 H H rated it it was amazing
I am only half way through this novel, and really don't want to get to the end of it! I am savouring each passage, much more than I normally would. What an amazingly knowledgable writer. What an amazing story-line, one that makes me blush and smile and belly-laugh out loud, sometimes all at once!

I will be back for a full review once I have finished reading it!

Definitely a must-read!

--------------

p. 95

"I see nothing worthy of my sight and notes
In the amorous neckings of two bloated lady-goats
For
...more
feux d'artifice
Feb 12, 2016 feux d'artifice rated it did not like it
Shelves: poc-author
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanya Erquiaga
Jun 03, 2015 Tanya Erquiaga rated it really liked it
I have to admit, it's nice to read a book that has strong women characters in the Middle East. This is definitely more on the historical side of fiction. All of the characters were real people woven into this authors interpretive story of what their lives were like. If you're interested in a story that incorporates Muslim religion and homosexuality, this is for you!
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