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On Our Bookshelf: Girls of Riyadh

Hi my name is Aixa, I am an Art Director for the Ann Taylor creative team. I recently read Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea and fell in love with it. It’s about four upper class, educated Saudi Arabian women, in their quest for love, life and success amid the traditional religious beliefs and constrains of Arabic society.

It was refreshing for me to learn that these women who often carry the weight of prejudice and stigma are just like me. They want to spend time with their friends, they value trust, they want to find love, they want to have fun, they want to look beautiful, all the while keeping their beliefs and traditions close to their heart. The book was not without controversy despite the protagonists focus on faith as it was actually banned by religious extremists when it released in 2005.

For me, I think the lesson I got from Girls of Riyadh was that as women we share universal truths regardless of geography or religion affiliation and that life is richer when we are reminded of it…This is a must-read!