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Citadel News Service
24 Nov 2008

Author to share her experience as a woman in Saudi Arabia

The Citadel Department of English will host author and Medical University of South Carolina physician Qanta A. Ahmed, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4 in the Graham Copeland Auditorium inside Grimsley Hall. 


Ahmed will discuss her memoir entitled "In the Land of Invisible Women" about as a western-trained Muslim female doctor who spent two years working in the top hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. What began as a job initiated by a visa problem, quickly became a struggle and search for self empowerment, freedom and the right to follow her own truth.

Ahmed provides a telling picture of what daily life is truly like in the Saudi Kingdom. She describes:

  • Saudi reactions to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
  • How men and women find marriage partners in a society that allows no dating and physical contact, and where they flee to have affairs.
  • How Saudi women who are supported by advanced thinking parents and who must wear abbayas with their bodies fully encased are able to defy the Saudi's oppressive rules and mores to become physicians.
  • How she worked side-by-side with Wahabi scholars and physicians who seemed to shun her even in clinical contact.
  • Why the religious police are so threatening and dangerous
  • How a father grieves.
  • Her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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