Paradise Beneath Her Sheet Summary

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“Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East” by Isobel Coleman, is a book that depicts the life of women and women’s rights in the Middle East. In this book Coleman uses countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq to help her portray how women live in parts on the Middle East where religion plays a large role. In my book review however, I will focus on three of those five states which she mentions, and these are Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, as those are the most dominant states, religion-wise at least within the Middle East. Furthermore, in her book, Coleman does not discuss these countries using mere views and opinions, but what makes this book special is the fact that she actually visited each of these states and saw first hand how these women live.

Throughout history and all over the world, women have strived in order to attain their freedom and practice their basic rights and this has come to be a reality however this still is a challenge in the Middle East due to the fact that religion plays a significant role, however it is not necessarily religion, or Islam that hinders
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It is evident that the Middle East is quite patriarchal and this of course contributes to why women are seen as or believed to be inferior. Furthermore in the Middle East, women’s challenges have been “intensified by the rise of a political Islam that too often condemns women’s empowerment as Western cultural imperialism or, worse, anti-Islamic.” In Paradise Beneath Her Feet, however, Isobel Coleman demonstrates how both Muslim women as well as men are trying to combat the belief that women should be oppressed, an the do so using “progressive interpretations of Islam to support women’s rights in a growing movement of Islamic

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