Friday, August 24, 2012

BOOK REVIEW - MARGUERITE VAN GELDERMALSEN'S "MARRIED TO A BEDOUIN"

If you like romance and adventure, this is the one book you must read. It is an autobiography of Marguerite van Geldermalsen, a Kiwi of a Dutch descendant who fell in love with a Bedouin man, Mohammad, and chose to live among his tribe. She had in a way ran away from civilization to live in a cave in the hill where there was no electricity and running tap water. How she managed to adapt life so well, to be able to blend with the people and their custom, culture, tradition and religion was a wonder.

The book opened many doors and one of which is how happiness and success are defined - large screen LED television or touch screen smartphone or luxurious car is definitely not needed to make one happy. Life was much simpler for her and she had a great life living among the Bedouins. It should also change the perception towards the Bedouin. We always perceive them as people who are rough and uncivilized when they are actually ordinary people like us. Marguerite was accepted into the community and she was loved by Mohammad's family and almost everybody there. She was not forced to follow the common practice of the society like wearing the head scarf and fasting but she willingly did that on her own.

This is a love story in its purest form. The main reason she was there was because of him and when her husband passed away, she decided to move to Sydney. And the final paragraph of the book tells it all:

But I wasn't in Petra for the mountains or the history - not even for the culture. Without Mohammad to hold me I am no longer married to a Bedouin and, despite all the things we have accumulated, I have become a nomad once again.
A book worth spending sleepless nights reading. And I will not be surprised if you might end up crying reading it.