Reads for the Relocation

imageBefore I moved to the U.A.E. I wanted to get an idea about what I was getting myself into. Middle Eastern and Emirati history, their culture, and their religion. However I wasn’t able to find many options, but I started reading what I could. Once I moved here, I’ve found more and was recommended many more as well! I still have a lot more reading to do, but this may get you started. Please post any others you think I should add to my list!

What I Have Read:

The Princess Series

By Jean Sasson

This series follows Sultana, a Saudi Arabian princess as a child, young woman, wife and mother while living in an extremely conservative Muslim country. While not the U.A.E., it gives a tremendous amount of information about the culture and their religion. A must read, especially for single women! Written by an American woman who was told the stories by the Princess herself. I will say that by the time you read the last two, you will feel a little jaded. The main character annoyed me. But it did give good insight.

Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

Princess Sultana’s Daughters

Princess, More Tears to Cry

Princess Sultana’s Circle


Mother Without a Mask: A Westerner’s Story Of Her Arab Family

By Patricia Holton

An American-born, British wed woman is adopted into an Emirati family as she helps to raise the sons. This is not long after the U.A.E. was founded and she documents the changes the society goes through as they try to merge the old traditions with the new and the Western influences.


Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity

By Nabeel Qureshi

As the title alludes, this is the story about a Muslim man who converts to Christianity. I wanted to read something that would compare the Muslim faith to that of something I was familiar with. It compared the two in how they have many similarities and also differences. This gave me some great insight into their religion and how to better respect the locals.


The Tribes of Jordan

By Ghazi bin Muhammed

This is a quick read that gives a good look at tribal Bedouin life in Jordan. It focuses on their laws and how they are similar and differ from Islamic Law. Understanding tribes and how they work is essential as families in the U.A.E. are still connected in a way to their family tribe, although no longer nomadic. It was very interesting to read.


Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction

By Adam J. Silverstein

Another quick read, but one that I intend to read a few times through. It s a very detailed overview of Islamic history, what it is, how it started and spread, the study of it and finally how it affects people, both Muslim and non-Muslim. I really found this to be enormously helpful, of course this is published by Oxford University, so the factual evidence is academically based.


The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice

by Zak Ebrahim

This was a heart-touching story that only took an evening to breeze through. It was as if Zak Ebrahim was sitting there talking to me. He is the son of an extremist but he shows how he chose to lead a vastly different life than his father. It is a fantastic reminder that people are mostly good, an opportunity to have faith in humanity restored.


The To-Read List:

Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World

by Shereen El Feki


The Haj

By Leon Uris


Islam: A Very Short Introduction

by Malise Ruthven


Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World

by Katherine Zoepf

One Comment on “Reads for the Relocation

  1. Hello wandering adjective This is Cindy Washington. My son is a jujutsu champion and has a tournament there in the city the week of April 18. Reply to this if you get it and I will send you his info. Love for you to meet him or have some of your friends interested in the sport, go and support him. Take care.

    Sent from my iPhone



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