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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Mar 14, Grady McCallie rated it really liked it Shelves: Me and My Sister.

She documents Egypt at the time of writing. Bahiyya then recounts her childhood, her clitoridectomy by the women of her village, her widowhood and the hardships of raising children as a single mother. Apr 11 69 Jan 13, This is a must read and a delight at only pages. It was a wonderful transition from learning about the lives of Middle Eastern women to actually experiencing it through literature.

Brilliantly constructed short stories. Alifa Rifat stories are full of raw emotion and overwhelming sense of the hopelessness of the human experience. Thanks for the review. Rifaat did not go to university, spoke only Arabic, and seldom traveled abroad. This was the story in which a man and a woman most closely approached one another and love seemed most clearly felt.

Alifa Rifaat

She continues on to lament the position of women in society and the upholding of this low status by members of both genders. Customers who bought this item also bought. She remembers to thank God for His generosity by performing a simple and tender gesture of raising her hand to her lips repeatedly to give thanks. Jul 26, Joseph rated it really liked it. Well, why pick a favourite when I have the whole book? The meaning I give to it? View all 6 comments.


Over the years, she got weary of the repeated refusal of her husband to attempt to satisfy her, as well as his infidelities, to the point where she was no longer bothered.

Apr 27, Suzanne Bhagan rated it liked it. I will surely read this book again. She published her stories from until when she chose to stop after facing pressure from her husband to end her writing career. She felt reluctant at first, but her heart warmed to him, and later she dreamed of him standing in her courtyard, protecting the beloved chickens she was raising. This collection of short stories admits the reader into a hidden private world, regulated by the call of the mosque.

A widow, she now lives in Cairo with her three children. Her directness in treating sexual themes and women’s thinking about them has been called unusual for her time.

Jerome Reviews Alifa Rifaat’s Distant View of a Minaret – Kinna Reads

Glad you were able to hop over Marilyn. It’d be fair to say thatt Alifa Rifaat has captured the essence of contemporary women lives in the Egyptian heartl At first sight the brevity of the stories betrays lack of depth, but it did not take long to correct the initial impression as I read through three or four of the total fifteen stories in the collection.


The loneliness and emptiness of the lives of Egyptian women from every class and background are, in particular, well if in an honest and bare fashion. AWS, ; Page 8.

And even while I thought the Arab woman’s life depressing, this book irfaat nothing like the typical, overdone portrayal of the suffering Muslim woman that is in many of the books written by the escaped Muslim alfia.

Write a customer review. By her stories, Alifa Rifaat calls for change and development, and even empathy, but the call is couched in specifically Arab terms.

The stories are short, but what they lose in length they more than make up fo in depth and penetrating insight. The extent of her indifference is expressed in the closing scene, where she calmly drinks coffee and sends her child to call the doctor after her husband had died from a heart attack. Her purpose is to draw realistic portraits and through those compel us to ask dsitant questions.