ad 4 Fahtiem

Gilded Serpent presents...
Love and Romance, Egyptian Style
Book Review of The Poison Tree,
planted and grown in Egypt by Marwa Rakha

Review by Bonita Oteri

This book is a poignant portrait written by a young Egyptian woman blessed or burdened, depending on one's perspective, with excessive moral courage and brutal honesty.

Her microscopic scrutiny of the Egyptian dating and marriage scene as she views it spares no one, least of all herself.† This book takes us into an incisive, heart-wrenching examination of the tight rope Egyptian women must daintily and carefully tread if they wish to "win" a husband. In her circumstances she knows the games that must be played to "win" at this artful game ; yet they eat at her soul.† Marwa has a burning passion that can't be tempered and she is compelled to speak out on the limitations she feels her society has imposed on women.

At times the book is a savvy "Sex and the City" type column writing that addresses different hot topics.† These include the avid interest that her fellow countrymen and women have with their fascination of the Arab world watching Egyptian serial soap operas. The author, Marwa Rakha addresses fascinating insights for Westerners into the Egyptian psyche on dating/marriage issues; ranging from the basic man and woman on the street opinions, to societal class distinctions and snobbery.† This includes the taboo topics of prostitution and the complex survival decisions some women, sadly, must make.† †

Bravely baring her soul and laying her innermost fears on the altar of Truth as she sees it, the author gives us a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Love and Romance, Egyptian Style.

Beneath the biting words, there is always a sense of humor and a fond affection and deep love that binds her to her family, even though they must surely despair of this outspoken daughter and her future happiness.  It was beautiful how she wrote regarding her fatherís driving her around all night when she could not sleep, plagued by inner demons.

For my part, I saw many parallels for American, Western women and the age old "war between the sexes" in this string of tales carefully beaded together. She also includes a some what tongue-in-cheek, special "Warning! Danger!" for Western women on the charm and allure of the charismatic Egyptian man when he is focused on winning a wife. Perhaps the religion, the language, the country, the cultures are different; yet there are always Women's Issues which transcend international borders and tie us together. Not all, but most women want a happy family and a good husband, while simultaneously facing similar challenges in other countries as well, in meeting that goal.† No matter what corner of the globe we live in, the smarter and more out-spoken the woman in question, the more difficult that goal can be to achieve.

This book offers a profound insight in an unusual, blog format for anyone wanting to learn about the Egyptian society dating scene from a different dimensional perspective. It's one of those rare works that can make you laugh and cry simultaneously.

Marwa, my wish and prayer for you is that God may send you the strong, secure man who will not be intimidated by the deep, burning and beautiful soul that you are.

Have a comment? Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?
12-15-08 Kaleila’s Belly Dance Baby DVD, Dancing While Pregnant Review by Merika
In this touchingly personal video, Kaleila sets out to “inspire other pregnant women to feel beautiful."

12-15-08 Unveiled: 3 Instructional DVDs on Veil Dancing Reviews by Martha E. Duran
Fabulous 4-Yard Veils by Shoshanna, Seven Veils Romantic Bellydance by Sarah Skinner, Bellydance With Veil by Sarah Skinner

12-5-08 Getting in Shape: Three Core Training DVDs and One Special Treat Review by Rebecca Firestone
Core Training for Bellydancers Bellydance, Yoga Conditioning with Ariellah, Industrial Strength Dance Workout with Shakra, Bellydance Arms & Posture with Rachel Brice

11-14-08 Unveiled Musical Gems, 3 CD Reviews by
Raqs El Qamar by Chris Marashlian, Rhythms of Turkey by Tayyar Akdeniz, Angelika Unveiled, by Angelika Nemeth and Raul Ferrando

12-3-08 My Dinner with Nadia Hamdi by Fatima Bassmah
We asked if they had any videos, photos, or costumes from Nadia's life as a dancer, but they had none. When Nadia took the hijab and gave up dancing, she destroyed all photos and videos of herself since that life was over.

11-17-08 So You Want to Dance in Cairo? by Leila
Foreign dancers who negotiate their own auditions with hotel managers usually find themselves seated at his private table in the nightclub month after month while he promises that next week he will make her an orchestra and give her an audition.

10-9-08 A Big Picture Book Review: Martha Burns' "Belly Dance, Celebrating the Sacred Feminine" Reviewed by Stasha
Every page is a work of art, a truly astonishing array of images. The content is very inclusive and features all age ranges, body types and styles. You will see yourself, your best self, in these pages.



ad 4 ghawazee.com
 
 

 Gilded Serpent
 Cover page, Contents, Calendar Comics Bazaar About Us Letters to the Editor Ad Guidelines Submission Guidelines