By Qanta Ahmed. (From Booklist) Denied visa renewal in America, British-born Pakistani physician Ahmed, 31, leaves New York for a job in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she celebrates her Muslim faith on an exciting Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca even as she encounters rabid oppression from the state-sanctioned religious extremist police. She is licensed to operate ICU machines in the emergency ward, but as a woman, she is forbidden to drive, and she must veil every inch of herself. Her witty insider-outsider commentary as a Muslim and feminist, both reverent and highly critical, provides rare insight into the upper-class Saudi scene today, including the roles of women and men in romance, weddings, parenting, divorce, work, and friendship. After 9/11, she is shocked at the widespread anti-Americanism. The details of consumerism, complete with Western brand names, get a bit tiresome, but they are central to this honest memoir about connections and conflicts, and especially the clamorous clash of “modern and medieval, . . . Cadillac and camel.” --Hazel Rochman. Sourcebooks, Inc. (2008), English Paperback: 464 pages.
About the Author. Dr. Ahmed is currently an assistant professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and Assistant Director of the MUSC Sleep Disorders Laboratory. She is a quadruple boarded in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep disorders medicine. She continues to practice intensive care medicine. She became a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, a Diplomat and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Previously, she has practiced in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, in the National Guard Health Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Dr. Ahmed holds an Honorary Professorship at the School of Public Health at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. She is the first Muslim woman and the first physician to be selected to be a 2010 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge, England. The fellowship seeks to ignite public discourse on the nexus of matters scientific and religious, a dialogue she brings to Huffington Post.