Book Club- The Greater Freedom

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Our last book club read was The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes by Alya Mooro. 

I really wanted to like this book but it let me down. The author had an extensive bibliography and I feel like I would be better suited reading one of those books than this one, to be honest.  As is obvious by the tittle, this book is Alya’s insights on what it’s like being Middle Eastern in the UK. She is Egyptian and has lived in both the UK and Egypt.  

It felt like the author didn’t dig deep enough into certain areas and over-explained concepts there were already obvious to most people. I would’ve preferred less chapters but with more in-depth discussions.  While she asked for anecdotes from other middle eastern woman, it did feel like it wasn’t a very wide field and seemed to focus more on the middle to upper class. I can appreciate that it was brave of her to say some of the things she did about Egypt, I wanted more.  It also worried me that if this is the only book someone reads about the struggles of a Middle Easter woman of today, they might not really get much out of it. 

The book was somewhat interesting, so I don’t totally regret reading it, but I can’t say I would recommend it to others.

For our menu, I focused on mostly on Egyptian foods. Here’s what we had: 

-Koshary- A layered dish of macaroni, lentils, rice and tomato.

-Lamb Kofta- seasoned ground lamb meatballs. 

-Rosewater cookies

-Champagne- It was our first book club of the new year so I felt like being festive.

 

Every year my friend Betsy makes a bookmark for of us that has all of the books that we read that year.  It’s always fun to reminisce.  It’s also a nice reminder that even though my life is more hectic these days I still managed to get some reading in. :).

 

Our next book is Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago.  As always, you can check out my Book Club board on Pinterest to see what else we’ve read and my corresponding posts.

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