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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Samah, Unveiled: The Wind Beneath the Veil by Samah Jebbari is a compelling memoir that unravels dramatically inside a northbound car on Autoroute 13 in Montreal, Canada. Inside the vehicle are Samah and her three children. Forty-two years ago, Samah was born in Kasserine, Tunisia. Her father strictly required her to wear the veil at seven years old and walk behind him in public. Raised as a good Muslim daughter, she follows the family’s religion, although she longs for the freedom to wear what she wants in public. Her father is a trade unionist known for his activism, and Samah seeks political asylum in Canada. Unhappily married to the abusive Assi, she lives within the confines their culture and religion impose on her. Will she be able to break the chains and find freedom in life?
Beautifully written and a must-read book for women, Samah Jebbari’s Samah, Unveiled: The Wind Beneath the Veil is also an eye-opener. For many Muslim women, veiling is not a matter of choice, and lifting the veil has become a metaphor for freedom. Hence, the decision not to wear a veil is a highly private, emotional, and religious choice. In this narrative, readers get to know the intimate struggles of a Muslim woman in her decision to break from the chains of her culture and religion. Samah Jebbari shares her life story and innermost thoughts and desires in beautiful prose. For many of us who take for granted the freedom we enjoy daily, her struggles are at times unbelievable. I highly recommend this memoir!