The Burning Veil - A Story Of Love And Colliding Cultures By Jean Grant

The Burning Veil is also a story of a spiritual quest. Sarah, a troubled agnostic, learns that Islam can be a nurturing and enlightening path.

About the Novel "The Burning Veil"
The Burning Veil is a contemporary love story between an American woman and a Saudi Arab. Set in Saudi Arabia in the months before and after September 11, 2001, it deals with family ties, women's rights, and cross-cultural marriage. It is also a story of a spiritual quest. Sarah, a troubled agnostic, is fascinated by Islam but repelled by deviant fanatics. Gradually she learns that Islam can be a nurturing spiritual path. The novel is dedicated to fourteen schoolgirls who died in a fire in a girls school in Mecca, when the religious police allegedly sent them back inside to get their veils. The novel opens the closed doors of Arabian family life and enables readers to travel beyond the stereotypes to perceive Saudis as members of a complex culture and as vital human beings.

About the author
Jean Grant grew up in Montreal, Canada, and arrived in Cairo, Egypt in 1965 with a plan to see the world for a year or two before settling down in the States. Instead, she stayed in the Middle East twenty years. She taught at the American University of Beirut until the Lebanese Civil War. Later in Saudi Arabia she taught at the international school in Dhahran and became a staff reporter for Arab News, the major English daily. She learned colloquial Arabic to interview women, who were "off-limits" to her male colleagues. Nine years later, she returned to the United States, settling in Wisconsin where she edited the Ripon College Magazine. She now divides her time between Lawrence, Kansas, and the Dordogne, France.

Excerpt from: The Burning Veil
Beyond the city limits, they drove in a monotony of buff-colored sand with only the pipeline, rusted oil barrels, and a few derelict trucks to break the emptiness. What came next was worse: the salt flats, She had imagined caravans curving around dunes, falcons winging overhead, and the sands puffing and swirling. She doubted now that the oasis would be as she had hoped, a tiny lake with a fringe of palm trees. Qatif had been a trading center since the third millennium B.C., a link between the civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Before the advent of Islam, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians lived there. And before them, the inhabitants followed the cult of Ishtar, the goddess of love and war. Archeologists thought a sculpture of her seated on a golden lion was hidden nearby. "Apparently Ishtar had a fondness for men," Ibrahim said.

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Categories: Society

Tags: arabian culture, Arabian family life, Burning Veil, colliding culture, cross-cultural marriage, nurturing spiritual path, religious police, Saudi Arab, spiritual quest, story of love, women's rights

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