BookBrowse Reviews Inside The Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin

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Inside The Kingdom

My Life in Saudi Arabia

by Carmen Bin Ladin

Inside The Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin X
Inside The Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2004, 224 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2005, 224 pages

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The ex-wife of Osama bin Ladin's brother speaks out about the family. Memoir

From the book jacket: In 1974 Carmen, half-Swiss and half-Persian, married into the Bin Laden family. She was young and in love, an independent European woman about to join a complex clan and a culture she neither knew nor understood. In Saudi Arabia, she was forbidden to leave her home without the head-to-toe black abaya that completely covered her. Her face could never be seen by a man outside the family. And according to Saudi law, her husband could divorce her at will, without any kind of court procedure, and take her children away from her forever.....In 1988, in Switzerland, Carmen Bin Ladin separated from her husband and began one of her toughest battles: to gain the custody of her three daughters. Now she speaks out in this shocking, impossible to put down memoir.

Comment: No doubt there are more erudite and learned books written post 9/11 (and before, for that matter, for the few people who were interested enough to read the warning signs). However, few have the up close and personal touch of Carmen Bin Ladin's memoir - the Swiss-born ex-wife of Yeslam, Osama's older brother. The life she describes for women in Saudi Arabia is consistently oppressive, and the mentality of the exceedingly rich Bin Ladin family is unnerving to say the least.

'Bin Ladin's story is a courageous one. To stand up as a woman and share her personal experiences and feelings, although quite subjectively, about the Bin Ladin family's daily life in Saudi Arabia is surely a bold and possibly consequential act.' - USA Today.

This review first ran in the July 6, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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