Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam Paperback – June 7, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
In this satisfying, lyrical memoir of a potentially disastrous clash between East and West, a Boulder native and Boston University graduate found an unlikely fit living in Cairo, Egypt, and converting to Islam. Wilson embarked on a yearlong stint working at an English-language high school in Cairo right after her college graduation in 2003. She had already decided that of the three Abrahamic religions, Islam fulfilled her need for a monotheistic truth, even though her school did not include instruction in the Qur'an because it angered students and put everybody at risk. Once in Cairo, despite being exposed to the smoldering hostility Arab men held for Americans, especially for women, she found she was moved deeply by the daily plight of the people to scratch out a living in this dusty police state tottering on the edge of moral and financial collapse; she and her roommate, barely eating because they did not know how to buy food, were saved by Omar, an educated, English-speaking physics teacher at the school. Through her deepening relationship with Omar, she also learned Arabic and embraced the ways Islam was woven into the daily fabric of existence, such as the rituals of Ramadan and Friday prayers at the mosque. Arguably, Wilson's decision to take up the headscarf and champion the segregated, protected status of Arab women can be viewed as odd; however, her work proves a tremendously heartfelt, healing cross-cultural fusion. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* After an illness forces her to face her own mortality at age 18, Wilson, the child of two atheists, finds herself in search of religion. The faith that feels right for her is Islam, but in the wake of 9/11, she has difficulties embracing it fully. It isn't until she makes the decision to move to Cairo to teach at an English-language school that she is able to immerse herself in the religion she has come to love and become a Muslim. When she falls in love with Omar, an Egyptian physics teacher, Wilson becomes increasingly open about her faith, despite the reactions she fears from her friends and family. Though adjusting to life in Egypt takes some work—from learning the ins and outs of the complex marketplace to respecting societal divisions between men and women—Wilson finds herself warmly embraced and welcomed by Omar's family. Wilson's illuminating memoir offers keen insights into Islamic culture, distinguishing carefully between the radical fundamentalists who hate the West and the majority of peaceful Muslims. An eye-opening look at a misunderstood and often polarizing faith, Wilson's memoir is bound to spark discussion. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The main negative for me was that reading this book, you would think no other American or Westerner has ever visited Egypt while also trying to be sensitive to cultural differences. She tended to generalize based on the bad seeds in her own culture, while looking only up at anyone in the new culture. Also, I didn't understand why she was making life-changing decisions so quickly, like snap judgments.
This was a unique adventure and for that reason alone is worth a read. I appreciated the author's honesty with herself and the world that she wanted to be Muslim. That took moxie. She was pretty young when living this book and I suspect I'll be 5-starring something of hers someday!
So, why two stars? Well, I enjoyed the look at Cairo and Egyptian society during the Bush administration; but the book cuts off right as (spoilers) Willow and her husband Omar are about to emigrate back to America. We never get to see what happens to them? Do they Westernize? Do they decide to stay? Does Omar hate living in America? Is Islam different here than in Egypt? Is there latent islamophobia? How do they handle it? A million questions present from a cliffhanger.
If Willow really wanted her western audience to understand the plight of Muslims in America and how westernization is destroying Islamic culture, you'd think she would jump at the chance to show the contrast in a literal way – through Omar's perspective on America. Is it really so different? What stories do they have when they go visit Cairo again, if they do? How does Willow's extended family process this? It is this separation that the reader fails to feel; instead, the ending feels like the reader spends so much time in the culture of interdependence Willow discusses, with no independent culture to contextualize it.
Maybe Willow thinks all Americans are the same? That we all know what her life was like before she went to Egypt, and what it was like after she got back – but we don't. She fails to give us the other side of this story, instead remaining an empty character in which she struggles to tokenize herself for her audience. A shame, since with more personality she might have made more of an impact here.
Most recent customer reviews
The writer is very honest about her feelings, I want to thank her for sharing her life in Egypt with us .Read more