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Guests of the Sheik

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea




An ethnography of an Iraqi village.


In 1958, newly-weds anthropologists Elizabeth Warnock and Bob Fernea spent their honeymoon in a Shiite village in Iraq.  They were to spend the next two years in this tribal settlement, studying the way of life of the people, and immersing themselves in the culture.


A fascinating account of pre-Saddam Iraq, Elizabeth introduces us to the culture through her female freinds.  The sheik's three wives, Selma, Bahiga and Kulthum, have status in society because of their husband's position. Medina, Sherifa and Fadhila are part of a family related to the Prophet Mohammad. We also see society through the eyes of Amina the slave-girl, Hathaya the weaver's daughter, Sheddir the gardener's wife, Nadia the doctor's wife, teachers Sitt Aliyah and Hind, and Qanda the tattoo artist and village beautician.


Click here for Marion's full length review of·Guests of the Sheik·that was published in Turkey's national English-language newspaper Sunday's Zaman.



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