The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Jennifer Steil
Posted by Caitie F on August 8, 2011
Summary from goodreads:
In a world fraught with suspicion between the Middle East and the West, it’s hard to believe that one of the most influential newspapers in Yemen–the desperately poor, ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, which has made has made international headlines for being a terrorist breeding ground–would be handed over to an agnostic, Campari-drinking, single woman from Manhattan who had never set foot in the Middle East. Yet this is exactly what happened to journalist, Jennifer Steil.
Restless in her career and her life, Jennifer, a gregarious, liberal New Yorker, initially accepts a short-term opportunity in 2006 to teach a journalism class to the staff of The Yemen Observer in Sana’a, the beautiful, ancient, and very conservative capital of Yemen. Seduced by the eager reporters and the challenging prospect of teaching a free speech model of journalism there, she extends her stay to a year as the paper’s editor-in-chief. But she is quickly confronted with the realities of Yemen–and their surprising advantages. In teaching the basics of fair and balanced journalism to a staff that included plagiarists and polemicists, she falls in love with her career again. In confronting the blatant mistreatment and strict governance of women by their male counterparts, she learns to appreciate the strength of Arab women in the workplace. And in forging surprisingly deep friendships with women and men whose traditions and beliefs are in total opposition to her own, she learns a cultural appreciation she never could have predicted. What’s more, she just so happens to meet the love of her life.
Thank you to Amanda for giving this book away! I have wanted to read about other cultures and the second I saw her review, I knew this book would be a great way to do that!
I will admit that I have my personal beliefs and stereotypes about the Middle East. This book showed me how wrong I was. Every page had something fascinating and eye opening.
I was shocked to see how some men treated the women. Yet, the women who stood up for their rights and did it in their own ways were an inspiration to people everywhere.
If you are interested in reading about other cultures, I highly suggest that you read this book! I am going to be watching Yemen in the international news more often.