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From Dunes to Dior by [Rajakumar, Mohanalakshmi]
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From Dunes to Dior Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 322 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: January 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083AJ294
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Having arrived in Qatar roughly at the same time as Mohanna, and sharing similar heritage, while also having been raised in a cosmopolitan, western influenced society, I found myself drawn to the author's stories, seeing my own experiences reflected in hers. From the strange questions at home about life in the Gulf, especially the perceptions of how women are treated, to the odd looks I would get as I moved around Doha, with locals and expatriates alike trying to figure out where I came from, Mohanna reminded me that I was not alone in those experiences.
As Qatar begins to take it's place on the international stage, the curiosity of the outside world is heightened in trying to figure out this lesser-known State.
The biographical accounts are lyrical, amusing at times, but exceptionally realistic. I found myself reminiscing and reflecting on my own experiences, as I read through the anecdotes. Now that I have returned to my home country, I often find myself longing and yearning for a return to the life I had there. Perhaps the withdrawal symptoms are natural, but through this book, I had the pleasure of revisiting my second home with all the glamour it offers in the obscene wealth and dust-clouded developmental challenges expatriates face on a daily basis.
Mohanna's reflections do not sand-blast the reality but in fact provide factual and blatant accounts of the deep fissures in Qatari local and expatriate society. She paints a clear picture of the rapidly transforming views and how she has observed and participated in bridging the divides in a fun and candid manner.
This is an absolute must-read for anyone currently living in the Gulf or planning to work and live there in the future. It is the quintessential guide to cultural acclimatization to life in Qatar and "disrobes" Doha, unveiling a colorful canvas, rather than the barren desert it is thought to be.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Many of us cannot conceive of a world where Americans are becoming the immigrants to foreign 15245651lands instead of being the country one immigrates to - but it is happening more and more frequently."

And Mohana (Mohanalakshmi) Rajakumar is one such American. Born in India but raised in the US and possessing American citizenship along with a Ph.D from the University of Florida, Dr. Rajakumar presents the challenges and opportunities of living and working in another nation, the nation of Qatar.

This book is a well written, insightful, and respectful look at life and society in one Middle Eastern nation. The author, a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar for nearly eight years, shares her observations and insights into living as an expat in an area of the world which is constantly in the news.

Just as she challenges the native Qataris and other nationalities who live and work in the desert nation with her western dress and East Asian appearance, she also challenges the readers to consider the stereotypes, from both sides of the world, that cause us to make assumptions that she seeks to debunk. Weaving the personal with the academic, religious, and even political Rajakumar's From Dunes to Dior is a book about someone living in another nation and culture who herself is multinational in the best sense of the word.

If you are interested in an contemporary view of one key area of the Middle East then read this book. From discussions about maids, drivers, and driving to national development and international relations, this book is a must read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone that has lived in Qatar or is thinking of moving to the Gulf. It is a very insightful and witty account of various trials and tribulations an expat, especially a non-traditional professional expat, might face while living abroad. I look forward to many more stories about the author's life in the Gulf.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What I particularly enjoyed about Dunes to Dior is the diversity of essays-- from stories about racism or wealth inequality to the author's attempt to resist Dunkin' Donuts. As a landscape, Qatar is really strange and unique. If you're a fan of travel writing or want to learn more about a tiny, oil-rich country that rarely makes the news yet is in someways a touchstone of the region as a whole, definitely give Dunes to Dior your time.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf, Mohana is ideally placed to open our minds to the subtle prejudices that help us simplify our complex world. From Dunes to Dior is an engaging view of how it feels to live in one of the fastest changing countries in the world. Mohana describes Qatar as `one the smallest and safest countries in the world, an oasis of calm smack dab in the global hotspot of the Middle East.'

Mohana travelled to Qatar (a country the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut) in 2005 to support one of the American universities setting up a branch campus in the capital Doha. Her story of establishing a life and career in the Arabian Desert is shared by thousands of immigrants who have relocated to the rapidly developing country, as many of the people living in Qatar are expatriate workers of multiple nationalities, including migrant workers from across South Asia to American and European professionals.

I was surprised at how little I knew about Qatar, although the tragic recent mall fire had brought the country back into the news. In our haste to get on with our lives it is all too easy to think Qatar must be a bit like Dubai - in the same way that Mohana found that people were constantly finding quick ways to `categorise' her.

Refreshingly positive about this ignorance, Mohana recalls she was made to feel rare, strange, special, and unique at middle and high school in North Florida. At college in North Carolina she felt `like a fly in a glass of milk' an anomaly. In Qatar has name advertises that she comes from India - but her Sri Lankan features cause confusion.
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