Distant View of a Minaret opens with a husband and wife performing the act of intercourse. The story is told from the. Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. This collection of short stories admits the reader into a hidden private world, regulated by the call of the mosque. The book provides accounts of death, the lives.

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In dealing with such everyday themes as sex, love and death, the writers does so within the confines of her own particular culture and set of moral values so that at the end of the day, what she does is to challenge these values and interpretations to reassess the plight of women, while celebrating their courage and fortitude in the face of so much odds.

About Alifa Rifaat Alifa Rifaat has spent all her life in the Arab world, immersed in the traditions and culture of Islam. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.

Distant View of a Minaret: And Other Stories – Alifa Rifaat – Google Books

It’s fantastic and definitely made me second guess my judgments of women in other cultures. She was brought up in Egypt, a devout Muslim, strictly adhering to the Islamic way of life and well versed in the Qu’ran and religious teachings.

Many leading feminist movements in the developing world do not want agendas dictated to them by their Western peers, and want to prioritise their struggles on issues in consonance with local problems. She shows us how some women of the Islamic faith confront injustice.

The story is told from the wife’s point of view and it is quickly revealed that during viea interaction she is ricaat uninterested and feels estranged from her husband. There was no doubt but that the secret of my passion for her, my preoccupation with her, was due to the excitement that had aroused, through intense fear, desire within myself; an excitement that was sufficiently strong to drive the blood hotly through my veins whenever the memory of her came to me, thrusting the blood in bursts that made my heart beat widly, my limbs limp.


The lone minaret likely represents the solitude that the female protagonist experiences having resigned to this role. Though this is a lot of pressure to put on an unassuming collection of stories, Rifaat’s stories feature women who are impressive in their humanity, power, and sexuality. As it is, Ms Rifaat is not interested in setting down clear answers to the issues she has raised.

AWS, ; Page 9. Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of Her stories did not attempt to undermine the patriarchal system; rather they were used to depict the problems inherent in a patriarchal society when men do not adhere to their religious teachings that advocate for the kind treatment of women.

Most of Rifaat’s female protagonists take a resigned or begrudgingly accepting stance towards the hardships they face in life. A wonderful writer writing about what she knows, focusing mainly on Egyptian women and their lives.

Not in the sense of writing manners and marriage, but in the sense of writing about the quiet things, in the sense of being able to do s This is a collection of short stories, that are by and large short, set in Egypt mostly Cairoand told from the viewpoint of women. May 14, at 6: Although the wife does have an affair with the jinni, since the creature is female it is not considered adultery.

Jerome Reviews Alifa Rifaat’s Distant View of a Minaret

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? A number of reviews take care to point out that these short stories are not feminist, which is true enough; they are closely-observed pictures of mostly riaat lives in Egypt. This dlstant paragraph is typical of Rifaat approach to seducing the reader to relating to and advocating for her characters. So she is not a feminist nor does she want to upset any apple carts. I usually consume my text quickly, devouring the content and then moving thoughtlessly on to a new story.


Our growing up was less than idyllic as my mother often raged at the reality that all her duty and obedience left her more and more invisible. I saw moments of my life, my mother’s life, my sisters’ lives in these female characters.

Jan 21, Kit rated it liked it. It’s hard to comprehend that the author does not have any formal literary training and in fact lived a very cloistered life. It nestled unobtrusively among bestsellers yet the title caught my eye. Dec 18, Tereneh rated it it was amazing. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

It is absolutely courageous writing. The interesting element of this book is this idea: In her stories many of the sexual encounters take place during the characters’ marriage and there is no instance of extra-marital male-female relationships as this would be considered purely sinful under the practice of Islam.

This is better to read than an outsider’s view looking in. This raises questions about the very definition of feminism and its expression. Reminds me of the sadness I read in Nectar In a Seive of which I can’t remember the author but she was from India, short but really good, beautiful and sad. During this nearly year period of literary silence Alifa Rifaat pursued the study of literatureastronomyand history. Rifaat holds no punches and tells stories that make you feel sad, delighted, and horrified all in one go.

Although many of the women recognize the injustice perpetrated against them, they do not rage against a patriarchal system that oppresses, discriminates, and marginalizes them. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide.

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