Saturday, January 27, 2007
i first learnt of Lila Abu-Lughod through an essay she had written titled 'Do Muslim women really need saving?' - material for my class last term on Globalisation and Culture - where she explored the issues of cultural difference especially with regards to American intervention in Afghanistan. Her frank, straightforward writing made an impression and I ended up picking up her book Veiled Sentiments from the university library. It is more than just a book on Bedouin poetry, it is a study on personal relationships, on issues of power, honour and of course, gender, among the Bedouins, with whom she lived for some two years. It is the tale of a 'vibrant community with its strong bonds of kinship and intensity of feeling, its extraordinary moral system, and the remarkable way ordinary people express themselves through a poetry with the power to move anyone'.