Despite the fact that I’ve been living in an Arab country for almost two years now, there are still many aspects of Arab culture that I’m not exposed to in the UAE. Partly, this is because locals are so outnumbered by expat non-Arabs, but this is also simply because we see or hear a lot of things but don’t always understand them.
I wanted to love this book more than I did. I swear. It has all kinds of promise for exposing the prejudices inherent in the conflict in Israel/Palestine, between Arabs and Jews in the region, and while it definitely covered those topics, I don’t feel like the book as a whole was very reader-friendly.
This is really a very specific book for a very specific purpose – information on surviving the customs and etiquette in the UAE for newcomers to the country. So I’m going to keep my commentary short and sweet, hopefully helpful for people wondering if it’s a good choice for them while preparing, but not super detailed since, well, most people probably couldn’t care less about it if they aren’t planning to move or visit here!
While the author of this book isn’t Vietnamese, she does have a background in anthropology, which really seems to have helped her write this novel. I was hoping to read about modern-day Vietnam in The Beauty of Humanity Movement, from the perspective of an “insider”, and that’s definitely the experience that Gibb produced.
When I first signed up for this pseudo-book tour, I hadn’t heard of this book before. To be completely honest, I still wasn’t really sure about it: it’s not at all the type of book that I normally read, and I wasn’t entirely sure that I would enjoy it. But, I really wanted to take part in the event, and it sounded interesting enough (especially after looking up the author’s previous titles), so I figured … why not?