Read Call me Leila by N.G. Hanna Online

call-me-leila

The start of the Arab spring, inspires Leila to summon enough courage and run away from her husband, believing that in Tahrir Square she will free herself from the shackles of her abusive marriage. An illegitimate child of an illiterate maid and a well-off doctor, Leila’s dream is to find her father, a man she only knows from an old yellowed photograph. Instead, she spendsThe start of the Arab spring, inspires Leila to summon enough courage and run away from her husband, believing that in Tahrir Square she will free herself from the shackles of her abusive marriage. An illegitimate child of an illiterate maid and a well-off doctor, Leila’s dream is to find her father, a man she only knows from an old yellowed photograph. Instead, she spends twenty-five years in a loveless marriage. After she escapes her husband, she embarks on an adventure which takes her from joining a revolution, to the slums of Cairo where she gets involved with a fundamentalist sect. She will survive riots, change her name and go into hiding. Along her journey, she meets a lawyer who helps her escape and a young man who leads her to her father. In the end, when she comes face-to-face with the man from the photograph, she realizes that throughout her journey she has found what is more important: her own voice....

Title : Call me Leila
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19044818
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 360 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Call me Leila Reviews

  • Scott Whitmore
    2018-08-04 18:23

    Call me Leila by N. G. Hanna is an engrossing and often unsettling look at the lives of two Egyptian women, set against the backdrop of their nation’s often turbulent history over the past six decades. I was given a copy by the author in exchange for this review. The story opens in early 2011 during the Arab Spring as crowds of demonstrators gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for what would become known as the January 25 Revolution. Among the people in the square, who came from different backgrounds, religions and stations in Egyptian society, there is an awakening of hope: for freedom, for democracy, for justice. The hope of Galeila, who flees to the square to escape her abusive husband, is that somehow among the sea of demonstrators she will find the father she has never met. But as Galeila and her mother, Meshmesha — whose story is told in the early chapters — know too well, the flip side of hope is despair, and there is plenty of that for these two women. Born to a poor farming family in a northern city, after her mother’s death Meshmesha is sent away at her stepmother’s insistence to earn money as the servant for a well-to-do family in Cairo, where she is given a worn mattress to sleep atop on the kitchen floor: “This is a step up for someone like her,” her mistress explained. “In her village, they sleep in dirt and live a life not much better than their livestock. She and the buffalo are no different...” — Hanna, N.G. (2013-11-27). Call Me Leila (Kindle Locations 218-219). Kindle Edition Illiterate and cut off from what little family she may have left on the farm, the tenuous nature of Meshmesha’s existence is frighteningly revealed when she loses her job due to a misunderstanding. Where can she go? Who will help her? Who can stop those who want to take advantage of her? Sadly, not many years later these same questions will be asked by Galeila when Meshmesha dies suddenly. They live in a culture centered around family, in which gender roles are more defined and males predominant. Marriages are arranged to suit economic or personal needs, not romance. Interestingly, Galeila and Meshmesha are also Copts, the largest Christian group in predominantly Muslim Egypt and while different groups may mix at higher economic levels, the poor are isolated from and fearful of those outside their religion. During the revolution Galeila crosses these lines, setting into motion a chain of events that may eventually get her what she wants. Another reviewer stated Call Me Leila is not a page-turner, and I would agree with that assessment, but I also encourage readers who may chafe at the pace to stick with it. Meshmesha and Galeila’s story may resemble a fairy tale, but there are no magic godmothers or handsome princes to save the day. As the author told me in an email: “As for Galeila, there are many women like her who strive for a better life only to find themselves caught in a game which is not theirs.” Any gains achieved by these women must be hard-won, and are therefore more satisfying.Although I enjoyed Call Me Leila, this is not a book I would normally pick up for myself. But one of the perks of being an amateur book reviewer is getting offered the opportunity to explore different genres, and some of the better reads I’ve had in the past few years have been books such as this which I would likely skip otherwise.

  • Joan
    2018-07-27 22:37

    CALL ME LEILABy N. G. HannaThree generations of poor women in EgyptFive starsThis is a character study of three generations of women from the same heritage, which is not a page turner but definitely has its own interesting aspects. In El-Mansoura, Egypt in 1950, Saadeya, a young mother of five children, finally bears a baby girl, Meshmesha, and her husband leaves her in disgust that it is another girl. Saadeya does the best she can, but she is sick and worsening, finally dying. Meshmesha’s father remarries a woman who can’t stand his daughter and when she is nine years old, the step-mother convinces the father to hire her out and he will receive her wages. He does this and the little girl works hard from dawn til night. She learns of her father’s death when they say they no longer need her and turn her out. Temporarily, she later is turned over to an older woman, Um George, where as a teenager, she meets and marries a poor man, Attia. Eventually Attia sneaks into France because work pays better, but his wife hears nothing from him. In the meantime her has hired her out as a maid in a wealthy household, where the matron, Nabila, has unusual green eyes, a hereditary trait, which runs through that family. She also has a teenage son who is a student in medical school and Meshmesha innocently enjoys sex with him and becomes pregnant. When her baby girl is born, she has these peculiar green eyes, is named Galeila and for a time the wealthy grandmother believes her son is the father, although Meshmesha does not state this. Eventually Attia returns, almost kills his wife when he sees her new daughter. The crux of the story is that local older women convince Galeila to marry so she will be supported, and for twenty-five years, she is miserable with her husband and continually seeks to find her father although she knows little about him. The story goes from the recent Egyptian uprising when she runs away from her husband and changes her name to Leila and her continual seeking of her family. The ending leaves a couple of loose ends, but nothing to detract from the story. It is an unusual story, but gives great insight to the lives of poor women in Egypt after WWII. I enjoyed it because of its cultural and historical background.

  • Joan
    2018-08-01 17:38

    Three generations of poor women in EgyptThis is a character study of three generations of women from the same heritage, which is not a page turner but definitely has its own interesting aspects. In El-Mansoura, Egypt in 1950, Saadeya, a young mother of five children, finally bears a baby girl, Meshmesha, and her husband leaves her in disgust that it is another girl. Saadeya does the best she can, but she is sick and worsening, finally dying. Meshmesha’s father remarries a woman who can’t stand his daughter and when she is nine years old, the step-mother convinces the father to hire her out and he will receive her wages. He does this and the little girl works hard from dawn til night. She learns of her father’s death when they say they no longer need her and turn her out. Temporarily, she later is turned over to an older woman, Um George, where as a teenager, she meets and marries a poor man, Attia. Eventually Attia sneaks into France because work pays better, but his wife hears nothing from him. In the meantime her has hired her out as a maid in a wealthy household, where the matron, Nabila, has unusual green eyes, a hereditary trait, which runs through that family. She also has a teenage son who is a student in medical school and Meshmesha innocently enjoys sex with him and becomes pregnant. When her baby girl is born, she has these peculiar green eyes, is named Galeila and for a time the wealthy grandmother believes her son is the father, although Meshmesha does not state this. Eventually Attia returns, almost kills his wife when he sees her new daughter. The crux of the story is that local older women convince Galeila to marry so she will be supported, and for twenty-five years, she is miserable with her husband and continually seeks to find her father although she knows little about him. The story goes from the recent Egyptian uprising when she runs away from her husband and changes her name to Leila and her continual seeking of her family. The ending leaves a couple of loose ends, but nothing to detract from the story. It is an unusual story, but gives great insight to the lives of poor women in Egypt after WWII. I enjoyed it because of its cultural and historical background.

  • Hillary
    2018-08-21 16:31

    Interesting look at the history and recent upheaval in Egypt.

  • N.g. Hanna
    2018-08-11 23:33