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Syrian Brides by Anna Halabi
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Syrian Brides

by Anna Halabi

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Anna Halabi takes you along the everyday lives of Syrian married women. Syrian Brides is a compilation of humorous short stories. Take Jamila who has a clever way to make her husband Hassan forget Munira, his deceased first wife, or Um Hussam who's testing the senses of the candidate brides to find a suitable bride for her son. Mariam is from the Philippines, baptized as a Catholic, but converted to Islam and fled from her family. Chit-chat mixed with religion, longing for freedom, and dealing with a husband who next to you marries the maid. Nahla surprises Rami with fake nails and a wig, only suggesting what else on and around her body is fake as well.

The charms and difficulties of everyday life in the Syrian culture and customs are woven into these relatable stories, that can appeal to both male and female readers. ( )
  hjvanderklis | Feb 10, 2019 |
SYRIAN BRIDES was a delightful peek into the lives of Syrian women revealing the good, the bad, the sad, the funny, the warmth of a culture unknown to most American women.

The book consists of eleven short essays on varying aspects of the Syrian ladies’ lives.

One of my favorite stories was NOBODY’S BRIDE in which a woman outsmarts two shop keepers in order to acquire jewelry. I found it quite humorous.

I loved THE COUNTERFEIT BRIDE. Men, be careful what you ask for! The man asks for a woman who is blonde, blue-eyed, and fair. On his wedding night she discovers she has been wearing blue contacts (her eyes are actually brown), hair extensions and black hair dyed blonde, fake nails, and other cosmetic changes to give him exactly what he was looking for. I think we can agree that this story would apply to most cultures today.

One of my least favorite stories was THE GROOM’S MIRACLE which, in my opinion, was the epitome of the stereotypical Muslim marriage – a stereotype that those more knowledgeable of the Muslim culture realize that the relationship portrayed is not the norm and not what their religion teaches. But, sadly, marriages like this one do exist. The husband locks his bride in each day when he leaves for work. Throughout the day she has conversations through the opened window with her upstairs neighbor whom she has never met. The bride had been told her husband-to-be, at the time, was handsome, religious, very pious and honorable, and would treat her with respect. However, in reality, he abused her physically and emotionally.

The other stories will either warm your heart (THE BRIDE’S CAKE) or cause you to cringe (THE BRIDE’S MAID), but none will leave you unaffected. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Jan 8, 2019 |
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