: Dreams of trespass: tales of a harem girlhood (9780201489378) : Fatima Mernissi : Books
  Login | Register En  |  Fr
Antoine Online

Dreams Of Trespass: Tales Of A Harem Girlhood

by Fatima Mernissi
Our price: LBP 510,000Available
*Estimated delivery time in Lebanon is from 2 to 5 working days
Quantity :  
*Due to the high demand, this last copy may not still be available at the time of processing the order.
I Add to my wishlist

Product Details

  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publishing date: 03/09/1995
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780201489378
  • ISBN: 0201489376


”I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, Morocco...” So begins Fatima Mernissi in this exotic and rich narrative of a childhood behind the iron gates of a domestic harem. In Dreams of Trespass, Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth—women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. Dreams of Trespass is the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.

In just a few easy steps below, you can become an online reviewer.
You'll be able to make changes before you submit your review.

  • A Bore!
    From Amazon

    I couldn't help but fall asleep whilst reading this book. I only was able to go through about a little over a half, mostly because I was required to read it. Generally, the book is about a middle eastern girl living in a Harem and surrounded by the conflicting Western Power, the French Army. Lots of battles with tradition and western cultures, and primarily about the rift between men and women. So you're in for a subtle yet quite obvious gender conflict, which was in my opinion awfully sexist (I know it's from the view of a woman but that doesn't take away from the fact that she explicitly tries to write as if she were a child again with "innocence" yet fails because of her mature agenda). The author, Mernissi, spends about 10-15 pages per chapter driveling on about the most useless facts or coincidences. Just when you think she's reaching her point and finally bear fruit, it's the start of a new chapter and another take on a topic or segment of her life that is completely irrelevant.

  • Middle Eastern Dance Class
    From Amazon

    The book was great and interesting. Amazon sent it very quick.

  • Innocent Courage
    From Amazon

    I found this book to be entertaining, educational, inspirational and thought provoking all at once. I personally and Americans in general are largely confused and misinformed about the concept of the harem and how the women in them lived; and it is no wonder or surprise that we are! It seems that even within the high walls and locked gates of the harem the residents cannot agree on the subject! What is a harem? Is it a den of iniquity? A commune? A brothel? A prison? An extended family? A refuge?

    Told from the perspective of a 6-9 year old girl growing up in a domestic harem in Morocco in the late 1940s, this book has a freshness and naiveté that only a child can muster as she ponders her place in her home, society, and the world at large.

    Her observations of the world around her are uncensored, and guide the reader to a greater understanding not only of other cultures and other women, but of our relationships and ourselves. Only a child has the innocent courage to stand up and say, "The Emperor has no clothes!"

    As I learned about another world, I began also to draw parallels to may own life and current times. Changing laws does not grant freedom to individuals. Here in America we have all the freedoms that these women were deprived of and fought for, and yet in many cases we remain trapped- prisoners of our fears, our habits, our insecurities, and our weaknesses.

    In this book I found lots of hope and inspiration, reminding me of many ways to experience freedom inwardly- without the necessity of changing outward circumstances.
    © 2006 Shahina

  • Glimpse into a hidden world
    From Amazon

    This collection of stories is more than simply a memoir of a childhood lived within a secluded harem. It is also a story of a process of change that took place decades ago as the country of Morocco was becoming an independent nation state.
    I was fascinated by the stories of the women who spent their lives hidden from the outside world within the family enclaves of the middle class in Morocco. I've purchased it for friends and colleagues who were interested in women's stories, both from a feminist perspective and from a humane one.
    The stories are told with sensitivity and compassion, as well as a deep respect for, and understanding of Islam.

  • Wonderful again and again!
    From Amazon

    To me it is alarming how prevalent the myth of the "harem" is among Americans. I just watched an interview a few weeks ago and the gentleman interviewer smiled from ear to ear when his guest (a female professor) mentioned the word. I guess I was lucky to have visited a harem in Berrechid, Morocco over a decade ago and got the true story of its cultural evolution over time. Well there were pashas at one time and they did have several wives, but today it is the tales about them that feed our curiosity. Although these stories are not as Romantic as we may like, they still feed the imagination in a remarkable way. This book is simply wonderful in its direct and simple approach to a cultural phenomena that is still evolving, and Mernissi is helping that evolution to occur. It is above all her way of telling old stories that can tame the Shahriyar's in all of us. How could you not fall in love with Chama? Mernissi writes with deep feeling and compassionate understanding for the Morocco that all Westerner's should know but so rarely get a chance to experience. In her writing she takes you behind the hijab and the 40's harem wall to meet with people who have so much to teach us about limits, boundaries, and breaking out. But breaking out means knowing the rules (qa'ida, read 62-3). I think that the lesson is in learning 'how to know.' Not just knowing the rules as they are but in knowing 'how' they exist.

    Mernissi explains all uncommon and new words to readers by way of interesting footnotes that are valuable even for people who are familiar with Moroccan societies. That helps the reader again to know 'how' the rules of the harem exist.

    More than anything I am attracted to her descriptions of the beautiful people that live in her memories. Though some may see this book as just anthropology, socoiology, or even feminism, I think it is actually a book about the human capacity for compassion and love. In fact when I go back through the book I see it everywhere in Asmahan's "Ahwa!" (I am in love) and even in such names as Aunt Habiba (root habib=friend, companion). Even when she writes about Christians or Jews it is always with a comical kind of curiosity never malicious or spiteful, just enough to make you smile. She brings the outside in. This is a dream book, one you can enjoy in your own interior harem, or if you prefer Castillo Interior (Santa Teresa's "interior castle").

Working on your request