Wanted Women, Fair Lies - the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Aafia Sidiqui by Deborah Scroggins was the subject of yet another lecture series from the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Academy of Lifelong Learning here -- where I take courses and teach a writing class. As it happens, Ms. Scroggins now lives on Cape Cod. This is her second book on Arab women. She now serves on a government advistory board. Her talk was highly informative, well delivered and, happily, very well attended.
These two women are at opposite poles of the current political situation. Both were highly educated, in English, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in America, in fact. She became an Islamist and then a terrorist, a friend of Al Queida members and is currently serving a 86 year prison sentence here in the US. She is considered a heroine among the Islamist movement. On the other hand Aafia Siddiqui was raised in Africa and has become militantly anti-Islamist. She worked with the murdered Theo Van Gogh on the movie, Infidel, lives for a while in the Netherlands where she elected to a political office. She is considered a heroine by those who are totally anti-Islamist.
Deborah Scroggins worked a a journalist for many years, spent several years researching this book -- her second on the Islamic world, and has won awards for her work. Appropriately, a good journalist, she shows that both women are far more complex than their political definitions suggest. Scroggins spoke very well, the audience asked good questions. Although I can understanding the thinking of the marketing people who chose this book's cover design, I find it totally off-putting. Now that I've heard the author speak I think it's a book I would enjoy reading but I would never have purchased it in a book store with that jacket design.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!