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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
The fascinating book Uber You Tales of God, Love, Money and Sex certainly lives up to its title. Written by a part-time Uber driver, it chronicles conversations or events, which the author freely admits have been dramatized to some extent, that have taken place during his shifts. It is obvious from the text that the author, AbuHuraira Z. Abdelhalim, is an educated man of Middle Eastern origin. His observations are pithy and revealing and provide a rare opportunity of looking at our troubled society through the eyes of a recent immigrant. It brings into sharp focus the cultural differences that run deep in our Western, multi-racial, multi-cultural societies. The short stories vary in length as one would expect, covering a disparate range of subject matter from the harrowing tales of oppression and abuse of women in many parts of the Middle East and Africa, to cheating congressmen. There are also amusing anecdotes of the type that I am sure many cab drivers will have experienced during their shifts - the drunk and stoned passengers and the marketers desperate to scam an unsuspecting driver.
The following words from a discussion with a passenger about people blindly and unquestioningly following the directions of the Bible prompted a good deal of thought and reflection: "In Islam also, some people do the same, while others overdo it and that sometimes kills them or kills their ideas about Islam. They will follow some interpretation of Islam by some scholars who wrote some books a thousand years ago, letting dead people lead them while they want everyone to be dead like their scholars and kill whoever is in disagreement with them. That is so dangerous when dead people lead the living people: it is exactly what is so-called terrorism. All we need is to make these people follow a living idea that people can promote. " What an interesting concept – should we allow ourselves to be led by dead people? What about science, the law, the constitution?
I was greatly taken with this book and there is a certain freshness and honesty to be found in its pages. The early chapters in particular, where several young women passengers describe their horrific lives before arriving in the USA, are deeply shocking. But what I liked most was the unusual point of view, the experience of seeing for the first time a drunken girl urinating in public or a congressman being plied with sexual favors, described by someone from a very different culture. I was impressed by the many quotes and asides. From the poet Rumi to Ernest Hemingway, it displayed Abuhuraira Z. Abelhalim’s breadth of knowledge and experience. I found Uber You an excellent read, informative, edifying and enlightening. It deserves a broad readership. A great book for anyone wanting to take an alternative look at the way we live today.