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A Thousand Veils de D. J. Murphy
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A Thousand Veils (original: 2007; edição: 2008)

de D. J. Murphy

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4617427,273 (4.11)20
When Fatima Shihabi, an Iraqi poet and journalist, learns she is marked for death by Saddam Hussein's secret police, she flees Iraq, evading Saddam's helicopters hunting her in the desert, only to discover that no other country will grant her asylum. Her flight from Saddam's vengeance, and the extraordinary efforts of Charles Sherman, a Wall Street lawyer, to save her life, is the subject of this gripping novel, inspired by a true story. How Fatima and Charles, bound by their common humanity, love for each other, and fate, manage to thwart Saddam and achieve redemption sends a powerful message to the post-9/11 world. Their story points the way toward eventual reconciliation and synthesis between Islam and the West.… (mais)
Membro:lolitafactor
Título:A Thousand Veils
Autores:D. J. Murphy
Informação:Lulu.com (2008), Paperback, 400 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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A Thousand Veils de D. J. Murphy (2007)

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    A cidade do sol de Khaled Hosseini (KnowWhatILike)
    KnowWhatILike: Both A Thousand Veils, situated in Iraq, and A Thousand Splendid Suns, situated in Afghanistan, are the stories of Muslim women who try to confront the repressive environments in their countries and who are persecuted as a result.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 17 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

A THOUSAND VEILS is not a traditional young adult book. But the story will have appeal for older teens as well as adults. In our post 9/11 days, the cultures of the Middle East and America are extremely separate.

D. J. Murphy writes a compelling and page-turning suspense novel. A note on the copyright page alerts the reader that the events are inspired by and in part based on a true story. Having read that notice, I was skeptical on how the story would present itself. I shouldn't have doubted Murphy's ability to craft an amazing tale.

The reader is captured from the first pages. Fatima Shihabi is awakened during the night by a cryptic phone call. She knows immediately that her life is in danger and she must flee within the hour. From that moment on, the story unfolds with heart-stopping terror and anticipation.

Fatima has grown up in Iraq and loves her country and her family with all her heart. What she doesn't love is the deterioration of her culture under Saddam Hussein's regime. As a writer, she has been able to publish women and children interest stories in her country. But after subtly injecting a jab at the government in one of her articles, she is imprisoned and tortured. Only by her brother's connections in the government is she freed.

After her scare, she returns to fluff pieces that will not get her into trouble. But that doesn't last long, and after the fateful call, she is on a journey for her freedom and her life.

With a call to her brother Omar in the United States, Fatima's life falls into the hands of an unlikely Wall Street lawyer, Charles Sherman. Charles is known for his big corporate deals, not for pro-bono refugee work. But his boss and mentor, Art, believes Charles is the right one for the case, having spent many years in Saudi Arabia brokering deals for the Arabs. Unknowingly, Charles is not content with his current life. Taking on Fatima's case will cause a life-altering change.

Charles and Fatima eventually meet on foreign soil and, through intellectual conversations, they come to know and love each other. Fatima points out the failings of the United States government, while giving insight into the women and the culture she has lived and loved. Charles returns repeatedly to his fascination with the veils that the women in Fatima's culture use to cover themselves. Fatima opens Charles' eyes, revealing that everyone wears a veil of some creation.

Murphy weaves the story beautifully. It captures the human spirit of survival and perseverance. Each character discovers hidden strengths and abilities that they never knew they had. The persecution and resistance Fatima encounters in every step of her journey will inflame the reader, and the ending will leave you amazed at the human spirit. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Fatima Shihabi is an Iraqi poet and journalist who finds herself on the wrong side of Saddam Hussein and his Bath party loyalists. She had already been imprisoned once for her writings and again the government has cause to be annoyed with her work. With her life in peril, her brother, Omar, contacts a high powered New York lawyer, Charles Sherman, to help get her out of Iraq and possibly to the US. Charles feels that he has better things to do than getting caught in an international intrigue but he finds himself drawn into this case almost against his better judgement. Charles is finally able to arrange, after much negotiation, safe passage to France.

When Charles and Fatima meet in France, they fall in love as they try to figure out her next step. Fatima is concerned for her daughter that she left back at home and the reprisals that Saddam and his minions may visit on her. Charles is furiously at work trying to figure out how to get her to a safer place because they soon realize that they have been followed to Paris. Tragedy strikes and Fatima is determined to return to Iraq to get her daughter.

I found the characters to be melodramatic and it sometimes felt like I was watching a movie or play where the actors were overacting. The sense of urgency that was applied to certain things seemed odd and unrealistic. For example, Charles leaving a very important meeting because there is a call from Fatima's brother. Could he not have taken a short break and returned, finished up what he was doing and then handled whatever Omar was calling for? I just find it hard to believe that multi million dollar deals will wait for this one man and his outside emergencies. Also it was sometimes hard to like Fatima as she emotionally all over the place. There is a scene where she is screaming at Charles not long after she meets him and I was floored by her behavior. This man is trying to help you and is gaining precious little in return and you are getting snippy with him? Odd, very odd. Also a lot of the dialogue between Charles and Fatima felt very wooden and forced. It was preachy and quite frankly, people just don't talk like that. Many times it felt like someone was standing on a soap box and making a speech on American/Mid East relations, immigration, women's rights and politics in general. These scenes made the book less credible for me. But the scenes that finally did me in was when they return to Iraq and suddenly Charles Sherman turns into Jason Bourne. He is taking on the Iraqi guards, one man at a time and coming out on top. I am sorry but that was too much to take. If this book set its self up to be an action/adventure thriller with mid east undertones, then that is one thing but the fact that its supposed to be a serious book made it hard for me to understand this detour. I think that my biggest problem with this book is that it cannot decide what it wants to be. One minute we are discussing middle east politics, the next we are in high speed races for our lives. Its all became a bit much after awhile.

The love story between Charles and Fatima was also something that I found hard to understand. I can totally understand a growing respect and growing platonic love between them but this sudden and undying love after a few weeks just seemed to come out of nowhere. And all while Charles has a long time girl friend back home of whose existence Fatima is aware. Men and women can meet and develop a relationship that is devoid of romantic attachment.

Some of the best scenes in the book were the descriptions of Fatima's home life especially as a child before the bad marriage, abuse and later arrests by the police. In those moments we get to know the true heart of this woman and her thirst for freedom and unquenchable hopes for her country. Her individuality and quest for justice in a land ruled by an oppressive dictator make her even more admirable.

All in all, I can't say I came away in love with the book. I respect the author very much for writing the book because its something that is close to his heart. Also the fact that he is donating part of the proceed to the UN High Commission on Refuges is most admirable and inspiring. ( )
  TrishNYC | Jun 17, 2009 |
Fatima Shihabi, an Iraqi poet and journalist, and Charles Sherman, a New York corporate lawyer, are the protagonists of D.J. Murphy’s first (self-published) novel A Thousand Veils. When Fatima’s life becomes endangered from Saddam Hussein’s secret police, her brother Omar contacts Charles and pleads for his help to save her. Charles at first is reluctant, but later is oddly drawn to Fatima’s courage in the face of persecution. The novel takes place in just over a month in 2002 and is narrated alternatively from Charles’ and Fatima’s points of view. It tracks Fatima’s flight from Iraq through the desert into Saudi Arabia, and then on to Paris, and later back to Iraq.

A Thousand Veils demonstrates how the common thread of humanity can overcome the greatest of odds. Murphy explores the misconceptions of Muslim culture and touches on the terror which Iraqis faced under Saddam Hussein’s cruel rule. Through Fatima’s eyes, the reader gets a glimpse of the challenges women face in Arab countries, especially if they dare to be individuals and speak their minds.

Murphy’s writing is at times luminous. He portrays the beauty of the Iraqi desert and the strength of its people with ease. I found the sections from Fatima’s point of view the most compelling - and it is her character which is the most strongly developed. Charles, on the other hand, felt wooden to me much of the time and I found I could not always relate to his character. Murphy has a tendency to become a bit preachy in his dialogue, reminding the reader that this is a novel with a message. Although the novel begins strongly, as it progressed the plot became a bit unrealistic to me.

Despite these flaws, A Thousand Veils is competently written, supported by having recently won the 2009 Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award for mainstream fiction. With his background in international law and experiences representing refugees seeking asylum in the United States, Murphy does bring legitimacy to his novel. The tension between Arab countries and the United States since 9/11 has changed Americans’ perceptions of Muslim culture, and I believe books like A Thousand Veils are important in that they seek to create cultural understanding. Murphy is donating 10% of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees - a message that his novel is a work of passion for him. ( )
  writestuff | Jun 13, 2009 |
In the legal/action thriller, A Thousand Veils by D. J. Murphy, Fatima Shihabi, a female Iraqi poet and journalist, is fighting a desperate battle to escape Saddam Hussein’s regime. With the aid of a brother who now lives in America, she enlists the help of Charles Sherman, a Wall Street lawyer. The story follows the life of Fatima through her early years as the only daughter in a family of five children, an unhappy marriage, and a previous episode of torture in Saddam’s prisons, in addition to her final battle to escape Iraq and certain death. The book also focuses on the life of Charles Sherman who was fortunate enough to escape the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, and is still haunted both by survivor’s guilt and the horrific images from that day. Together, they attempt to evade a pair of Iraqi agents sent to track Fatima down and return her to Iraq.
The story, though entertaining, pretty much follows the typical genre formula, without any major plot twists, complex character development, or witty dialogue to make it stand out the least bit from the rest of the pack. However, I do have to give the author kudos for having the courage to follow where the story leads and allow even the good guys to die if the story requires it, and for giving the modern Muslim Middle-Eastern woman a voice. Throughout the book it is very apparent that this story is near and dear to the author’s heart. According to the back cover it was inspired by a true story and the author is donating ten percent of the net royalties from the book to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. ( )
  readingrat | Jun 2, 2009 |
It is common to assume that the sand in Iraq is the same as beach sand, the gritty, dense sand of the Florida or Texas coastlines. It's not like that at all...the sand of Iraq is like talcum powder. And it covers everything with a filmy veil.

From the moment we meet Fatima Shihabi, an Iraqi journalist hunted by Saddam's henchmen for her socially-conscious reporting, we are swept along on an exhilarating journey of immense courage and hope. Desperate to leave Iraq, Fatima begins her ill-fated escape and is swiftly apprehended. Through amazing luck, her case ends up in the hands of New York lawyer Charles Sherman. Charles, consumed with guilt over his near-miss on 9/11, is looking for redemption. The Shihabi case allows him the chance he desperately needs to prove he's more than just an incredible attorney. Through complicated channels of old acquaintances, Charles is able to secure Fatima for a time in Saudi Arabia and then France. A slightly predictable (but admittedly hoped-for) romance blooms between the two as they are relentlessly pursued by the Iraqi secret police. A whirlwind trip back to Iraq to reunite Fatima with her daughter results in a final confrontation that begs to be made into a blockbuster film!

D.J. Murphy has written a very personal novel, crafted with tremendous care. The chase scenes through the streets of Paris are exquisitely authentic and the characters feel whole. The leitmotif of the veil appears throughout in all the obvious incarnations (the traditional Arab headcovering, of course, but also the "veils" or "masks" we all wear to disguise our true selves) and threatens, but never quite manages, to become cliched. I felt the restaurant conversation Charles and Fatima have about why the veil is worn was a particularly genuine moment. I highly recommend this book - and I'm desperately waiting for someone to turn it into a screenplay, so I can also see the film! ( )
  lawgrrl07 | Feb 10, 2009 |
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
THE UNVEILED MAID

by Umar Rab'a (died 718 A.D.)

translated by W. Gifford Palgrave

In the valley of Mohassib

I beheld her where she stood

Caution bade me turn aside.

but Love forbade and fixed me there

Was it sunlight on the windows

of a gleaming mosque at eve.

Lighted up for festal worship?

or was it all my fancy's dream?

Ah, those earrings! ah that necklace!

Naufal's daughter sure the maid,

Or of Hashim's princely lineage,

and the Servant of the Sun!

But a moment flashed the splendor,

and the o'er-hasty handmaids drew

Round her with a jealous hand

the jealous curtain of the tent.

Face the loveliest of all faces,

hands the fairest of all hands.

Daughter of a better earth, and

nurtured by a brighter sky;

Would I ne'er had seen they beauty!

Hope is fled, but love remained.
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To Mary Elizabeth Murphy,

my mother,

1919-2005

A woman of unsurpassed vision
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The sandstorm began in the early morning.
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When Fatima Shihabi, an Iraqi poet and journalist, learns she is marked for death by Saddam Hussein's secret police, she flees Iraq, evading Saddam's helicopters hunting her in the desert, only to discover that no other country will grant her asylum. Her flight from Saddam's vengeance, and the extraordinary efforts of Charles Sherman, a Wall Street lawyer, to save her life, is the subject of this gripping novel, inspired by a true story. How Fatima and Charles, bound by their common humanity, love for each other, and fate, manage to thwart Saddam and achieve redemption sends a powerful message to the post-9/11 world. Their story points the way toward eventual reconciliation and synthesis between Islam and the West.

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