Jasmine Star's Reviews > The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood

The Harem Within by Fatema Mernissi
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's review
Feb 19, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: middle-east
Recommended for: people trying to understand islamic (specifically moroccan) gender roles
Read in February, 2008

I find her observations about Moroccan culture and historical gender issues fascinating… The concept of the harem was thrown at the reader and we were supposed to search for our own definition along with her.

Truth be told, she is not the best writer, so the delivery of the story can drag sometimes! If you are really interested in seeing where certain perceptions originated (according to her studies) and the deeper meaning of words and phrases, then it’s great because it reads like an essay sometimes.

I can’t imagine reading this book if I had never lived in Morocco though. She expects that the reader is already marginally familiar with Moroccan culture. I also find some of her conclusions hasty and insubstantial…the end of the book was anti-climatic, but I think she was trying to be profound.

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