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Motorbikes and Camels – Nejoud Al-Yagout


At first one doesn’t know what to make of this book. The author never reveals what country it is, but it’s obviously a Muslim setting which makes so much of the revelations re attitudes to dating, sex, marriage, and traditions like the hijab rather astonishing.

An eye-opener that is definitely worth reading.


Diverse tales, diverse characters. Sometimes intertwining. There is Salma, facing a spiritual crisis in a country steeped in dogma; Hussam – a billionaire’s son who tries but fails to conceal his gay relationship; Mohammed, a bigamist, grasping tightly to antiquated patriarchal ideals at the expense of his love life; Mike, who adopts cultural appropriation to provide him with a stable foundation when his world collapses; and the remaining characters, one per chapter, revealing the impact of collective thought matrices on the individual and vice versa. Motorbikes and Camels is a timely book that begs the question, offered to the reader by author Al-Yagout, via one of the protagonists, Zayna: Am I who I am because of my culture?

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