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Book review: A God Who Hates Woman - Tale of Syria weaved around religion, bloodshed and women suppression

Shalini Ojha 27 Apr 2016, 17:22:40 IST
Shalini Ojha

Book: A God who hates Woman

Author: Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Rating: 3 stars

New Delhi: Set against the backdrop of war torn Syria, ‘A God Who Takes Woman’ describes the plight of women in the country. The poignant tale, the book forces you to ask many questions and compels one to contemplate.

In his memoir, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh tells his mother Amira’s experience growing up in Iran and Syria. With his simple writing, Majid manages to hold your attention. The cruelty in few parts of the book seems almost impossible to believe, but if you have been following the happenings in the Middle East you would be compelled to have faith in it.  

The title of the book, ‘A God Who Hates Woman’ seems apt because it highlights how religion is used by some to oppress others. The best part of the book is the thing that it brings to light discrimination not just in gender, but also familial and nationality based.

Amira, one among many children in her household stays devoid of basic necessities, a healthy life, and education and is burdened with household chores since she was a kid. A marriage with an abusive husband adds further misery to her life. A second marriage (to an already married man) doesn’t bring any peace to her.

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Majid points out how men have always been dictating orders to women and regarding them as lesser beings. Consent, equality, freedom, all seems to be alien words to the patriarchal society where Majid took us to. He also succeeds in bringing to one’s eyes the stark difference in the lives of people in Iran and Syria. He points out in a ‘liberal’ Syria drinking alcohol is frowned upon while in a ‘rigidly theocratic’ rule, Iran gave its citizens more freedom.

Being referred to as the worst refugee crisis since World War 2, Syrian refugee crisis’ ground reality is worse than known to many. Majid, explains how the citizens are forced to share apartments with other families, go to sleep on empty stomach and be forced to live a punishment.

A myriad of memories and experiences, ‘A God who hates Woman’, is worth a read. It forces you to ponder over one question, where is Syria headed? How can one expect a seven-year-old child to end ties with violence when her father is gunned by bullets in front of her innocent eyes?