Review FATWA

At the end of her biographical book, Jacky Trevane (not her real name) gives two reasons for writing her book. One is: to get to terms with the events in her life that she describes in her book. The second reason: a warning to romantic souls. 

She was a romantic soul. This British lady travels to Egypt (in 1979) with her British boyfriend. Their relationship is nearing its end and this short holiday is a last attempt to rekindle love, to reignite the passion. On their way from the airport to the city of Cairo they lose sight of one another. They do not disembark at the same busstop. Jacky gets help from a local family when she hurts her foot. They try to contact her boyfriend at a youth hostel nearby, but to no avail. Jacky enjoys the hospitality of the family and she falls in love with with Omar, one of the sons in the family, who is a student. Within two weeks they get married, unofficially by an imam and offically at the local registrar. 

Jacky flies back to England (she still has her return ticket !), and at the airport she meets her boyfriend. The parents of Jacky are not very keen on her plans (to say the least), but Jacky (and her romantic soul) presses on. When she returns to Egypt Jacky has to fit into the traditional ways of her in-laws.

When she gets a job at a private international school she meets other foreign women in the same position: married to an Egyptian. Jacky very much tries to fit into the system and is silent about the hardship she endures and the abuses. 

In the end she makes the decision to leave Omar, to take her two daughters and leave Egypt. But that is not an easy thing to do. 

This book is not highbrow literature, but it is well written in its genre. 

Jacky Trevane – Fatwa – Living with a death threat – 2004

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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