Domiciled in Canada from the time she was a young child, Zarqa Nawaz comes from a conservative Muslim family and describes in a forthright and humorous fashion the tricky business of growing up and being a practising Muslim in a Western society.
From a film-maker who produced a TV series titled Little Mosque on the Prairie, one would expect an amusing and clever story; happily this memoir succeeds on all counts. Entertaining as well as informative. [Larger font]
All enjoyed this lively and humorous book, and valued the Muslim insights. Much discussion was stimulated on belief versus culture, comparative religion, sexism etc.
Almost everyone enjoyed this. Sparked a good conversation.
This book had a factual tone written with humour. The author addressed significant social issues with clarity and conviction. gave us a better understanding of some cultural differences here in N.Z. Reinforced the ideas of acceptance and tolerance.
Mixed feelings - some thought it too relentlessly funny and would have liked more serious information included.
A pleasantly light read which nevertheless gave insight into the Muslim world in a way that made us understand the arbitrary nature of custom and religion generally.
Three members did not finish it as they found it too light and not engaging. The others enjoyed the light hearted style of this entertaining book. All of us learned a lot about Islam and wondered if some Muslims would be offended by it. Some liked the structure of starting in childhood and moving through marriage, kids, celebrations, Haj, and death . It was funny in parts.
We really enjoyed this mostly, light-hearted book. It gave a real insight into the Muslim religion and we learnt a lot. We noted that the author probably had the same insecurities growing up as the rest of us at some stage, but she thought it was all to do with Islam. A great read, easy, humorous and informative - a clever mix.
Light-hearted entertaining read. One of our members has lived in both Canada and Pakistan and commented that it was very atypically Muslim. A good balance to fanaticism.
What a wonderful and amusing insight to the Muslim way of life. We all learned a lot about their personal habits and culture. Beautifully and humorously written. Easy and entertaining read.
An excellent choice. We all loved it. And none of us knew that Muslim men pee sitting down.
The book was universally loved by our group. Witty, entertaining, andvery informative on many different aspects of Islam, and a very easy read. Excellent discussion and all members claimed to have learnt a lot.
A book that should be sub-titled "20 things I wanted to know about Islam but was afraid to ask". We learnt a lot about Islam from what was patently a non-biased point of view. The book describes in a light-hearted way the differences that the writer experiences in a western culture. I personally did not enjoy the self-deprecating humour: I felt that as a woman who is successfully astride two cultures, her humour could be a little more positive. The other members however found the humour quirky and enjoyable. As a group, we had a really successful meeting with lots of strong discussion.
An amusing insight into the life of a Muslim woman, struggling with her religious beliefs while trying to be a good citizen in her community. It made us aware of the freedom we as New Zealand women, enjoy - leading a much less restricted life than Muslim women. We are able to do and say more or less whatever we want, to whomever we wish.
We all enjoyed this book very much. It enlightened us about the beliefs and practices of a Muslim community, in a light-hearted manner. There were several very funny episodes - eg. explaining to the plumber the dictates of Muslim toileting habits. We admired the feisty heroine, Zarqa, and her attempts from childhood to make sense of her life as a Muslim child/woman. She also portrayed the many anomalies in Muslim beliefs and we could draw parallels with the many different beliefs in Christianity. "One size doesn't fit all!"
Absolutely brilliant. Everyone loved it and found it completely fascinating. Well written and easy to read. Lots of discussion. Highly recommend.
All found the book relatively light-weight. Some found it very amusing, others mildly so, yet others not at all. Humour very much of the "sit-com" variety. Discussion was lively enough. Even those who did not, overall, enjoy the book, felt they had learned a lot about Islam and this was a positive. The chapter on the Hajj was particularly interesting.
A very interesting read and timely, when there is so much misinformation about the Muslim faith.
We thought this book was humorous but childlike. It certainly made us laugh out loud in places. She challenged her mothers patience to the utmost. We were impressed with her husbands understanding but firm remarks that grounded her In extreme moments. She maintained her working life and successful career with enormous help from her husband. It gave a good description of the hajj and Mecca, we all learnt a lot from her descriptions of the traumatic trip. Muslims have changed their rules in challenging circumstances, 9/11, womens place in the mosque, womens careers.
The members of the group who were at the meeting all enjoyed the book for a very different look at the life of a Muslim woman. We all felt that we had learnt a lot about the modern Muslim world especially how embedded the culture is in her life. We felt that we could all learn from the respect that was given to the older family members. It was intriguing too, to read her at times humorous and at times frightening depiction of her trip to Mecca. An easy read which was also entertaining.