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Rughum & Najda Paperback – March 25, 2012


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Rughum & Najda + Female Homosexuality in the Middle East: Histories and Representations (Routledge Research in Gender and Society)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oracle Releasing (March 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983716110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983716112
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samar Habib is a scholar of Arab history and civilization, with particular focus on homosexual women in the Middle Ages and antiquity. RUGHUM & NAJDA is her second novel. She lives in California.

Customer Reviews

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I will be recommending Rughum and Najda to my book worm friends looking for a good read.
Shelli
As you come away from this novel, you love what they love: to be human and to have love honor and intimacy of that humanity recognized by others.
Dr.amina
The style is a step above the rest, the attention to detail is magnificent and the characters are compelling.
Cynfoni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr.amina on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
At first I was hesitant. How could both history and queer politics meet on the carpet of the Arab world and survive? But like with all magic, once I step gingerly upon the carpet it flew--and me with it--to the far ends of the earth and then safely back again. No really, I could not expect so much to transpire between two covers of a single book.

I knew it was a love story but never are we subject to any cliches-NEVER! The characters are real, dynamic, embrace tragedy, intrigue and complex destinies, all the while, foods, flavors, smells and images rush past as the carpet flies on through multiple worlds to unveil their story. Yes, unveil but not in any voyeuristic way. Their story is heart-felt, complex and yet accessible. You will find yourself rooting for the safety integrity and love of the characters as they embrace what is their locations in life and engage with others whose destinies change and some times change back again.

There is style rhythm and poise in the writing and wisdom, love and honor in the story line. I am already recommending it to my friends.

One favorite part was that the tharifat met in the cemetery. I have seen whole communities in the city of the dead in Cairo, Egypt, so I knew how even this worked in the real world. How can women find time for themselves in a culture and context that puts severe restraints on them?

I also like when one character not only dresses as a man to gain access and mobility, but excelled at the task she performed as scribe in the courts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joan Nestle on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Samar Habib's groundbreaking novel,"Rughum & Najda," opens the gates of history in a new and needed way. Read this novel--whether out of curiousity, out of your interest in women's history, out of the desire for a good lesbian story--live for a while in another world brought so vividly alive,9th century Baghdad, one that many of us know so little about and yet is so important in today's world. Rich and sexy and complex, no sugar coating of women's struggles but also so alive with possibilities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelli on August 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully written love story of an often ignored sort. Well written with a poetic language so often missing from modern fiction. Definetly not a Hollywood Disney happy ending story but that makes it all the more better. I read this book straight through in one sitting it was so good. I will be on the look out for a sequel or any other new fiction from the author. I will be recommending Rughum and Najda to my book worm friends looking for a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Berner on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am not into novels, and even less into writing reviews. I read this one because I have read Habib's research on female homosexuality in the Middle East and found it fascinating. And I am glad that I did. The web of stories, like the web of narrow passages in the old bazaar's of Baghdad; the complexity in simplicity; the adventures that bring back memories of Sinbad and One Thousand and One Nights; the strangeness of expression that forces you to read closely; and the historical research that went into the writing are admirable. But it isn't merely a fascinating story well told, it isn't just a tale of forbidden love, travel, or impossible missions accomplished. It is a tale of ascertaining one's value as a human being, regardless of differences in class, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. A tale of ascertaining one's inner core when it means risking one's life. The fear is palpable. So is the beauty of the sacrifice. And the ending keeps you thinking long after the book is finished about the real value of life.
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