Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Woman Who Fell from the Sky Review

This book was Book of the Week 2 but I promised I'd return to it when I had read it.
Now I've read it and I feel a need to travel to this country, Yemen. Although, not to teach journalists as the author, Jennifer Steil did. Maybe to work in the Tourist Information Office in Soqotra and actually fill it with information for tourists. Actually, I'd rather be a tourist and visit Soqotra and other beautiful places in this ancient country.

Jennifer even slightly touches on the government corruption which is the cause of the current unrest in Yemen. My hope for the people of Yemen is that President Saleh listens to the people and steps down from his Presidency, hopefully leading to a less corrupt government.

Jennifer also outlines the problems faced regarding journalists and education in Yemen. Even more problems are faced when it is a female journalist. What struck me most was the curfew placed on women by their families, something I had never thought of. While the journalist's growth in their work is obvious but evident is how much Jennifer grows learning from not only the journalists but also herself.

This book is immersed in ancient culture with a modern twist. I never would have known that in Yemen western women aren't treated like women or men but like a third gender. Jennifer was invited into qat chews with the men and lunches with the women. As I said, immersed in culture.

While this book is different to Kay Danes' 'Beneath the Pale Blue Burqa' it evoked the same yearning to travel to the Middle East to help and explore in any way possible. 

If you have an interest in the Middle East, current world issues or simply want to expand your mind then this book is a must read.

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