Louise's Reviews > Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village

Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
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Apr 04, 09

bookshelves: memoirs
Read in January, 2006

A thoroughly absorbing, well-written novel. Elizabeth Fernea's entertaining account of her time spent in El Nahra in southern Iraq during the 1950's, is uniquely insightful.

Settling in a new land, learning the language and culture, the ways of the people, and hoping to be accepted would be frightening for anyone. Fernea handled herself with grace and humility and was quickly befriended by the women of El Nahra.

The descriptive narrative left me feeling, hearing, seeing and smelling the sites and sounds of El Nahra. I felt as though I knew well, the women Elizabeth had made friends with.

I was very interested in learning the words in Arabic and enjoyed looking them up in the glossary at the back of the book.

This was an excellent, excellent story that I plan on sharing with a friend.

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