4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2001
Hamza Bogary's The Sheltered Quarter is a wonderful novel about the days before oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia. It details the life of Muhaisin AL-Baliy, a boy growing up raised only by his mother due to his father's death beofre he was born. The book tells of his trials in school with bullies and the like and that he does very well there and becomes an avid reader, so much so that he reads by a streetlight by night because his house doesn't have a proper light. You learn about Auntie Asma, a friend of his mother's who gives her advice on things concerning Muhaisin. She is also a strange women who believes in many superstitions and practices odd rituals. Other characters encountered are Amm Ustad, a freemason, and Muhaisin's likn to the changing world outside Mecca. Overall The Sheltered Quarter is a funa nad interesting read that can enjoyed by anyone looking for a book with good descripttive language and a fascinating story to tell. I know i sure enjoyed reading this wonderful tale, plus it enlightened me to some of things about the Saudi culture i didn't know.