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Guest House for Young Widows Reviews

Guest House for Young Widows by Azadeh Moaveni (Senior Gender Analyst, International Crisis Group and Lecturer in Journalism, NYU in London)

Guest House for Young Widows: among the women of ISIS

Azadeh Moaveni (Senior Gender Analyst, International Crisis Group and Lecturer in Journalism, NYU in London)

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2 reviews

Imprint: Scribe Publications
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication date: 10 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781912854608

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON FICTION An intimate, deeply reported account of the women who made a shocking decision: to leave their comfortable lives behind and join the Islamic State.

4 stars out of 5
12 Oct 2019

"For those interested in understanding them, this book is essential reading."

As she puts it in her book: “To swirl in a morass of suppositions and half-truths seemed safer, in London of 2015, than to hear what a youth theatre group born and raised alongside those girls had to say.”

By the end the reader is inclined to agree with her. It was fear of a public outcry that led Sajid Javid, as home secretary, to prevent Begum from returning to Britain. A mistake: she should come back to face trial, the better to understand how girls like her become radicalised in the first place. Most of these Isis brides still languish in camps across the Middle East, waiting for their home countries to decide on their fates. For those interested in understanding them, this book is essential reading.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
4 Oct 2019

"A skilful, sensitive report on the women who left their homes to join Islamic State – and found misery"

When Greene, FBI agent turned Isis wife, returns home, she receives a short two-year sentence to atone for her terrorist romance. But Begum, found pregnant and languishing in a camp aged 19, is stripped of her UK citizenship. Dalliances with terror, like everything else, have different consequences for different women; the mastery of Guest House for Young Widows is to show us just how distinct and devastating each can be.