A Critical Analysis of Guest of the Sheik: Ethnography of an Iraqi Village

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Leonard Jay R. Demerin
Mr. John Connor
30 March 2013
Introduction about the Author of the Book Review
Khaled Al-Quzahy, author of the Book review with the title, “A critical Analysis and Reading of Guest of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village.” Al-Quzahy has wide range of research interest such as cultural studies, cultural theory, journalism and 8 more posted in the Academic.edu page for authors. His critical analysis was included in Academia.edu. Academia.edu is composed of academe personnel ranging from Oxford, Cambridge York University and among others whose platform for academics is to share research papers in order to accelerate the world’s research as its mission. Academia.edu revealed that it has 2,401,883 academics who signed up with over 5 million visitors a month. The book review was divided into two parts, namely: First part is dedicated to the synopsis of the main themes of ethnography which he included under it are discussions about the Guest of the Sheik and argue how Fernea treats gender relationship and the second part is titled Representation and discourse in Guest of the Sheik. Book review author, Khaled Al-Quzahy identified the ethnographer as Ms. Elizabeth Warnock Fernea who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 21, 1927 with interest on social sciences according to goodreads.com (2013) married to Robert A. Fernea who is an anthropologist who went to the village in Iraq to study the culture. In 1950s, Elizabeth joined her husband in the village of Sheik where she experienced the ways and life of the women in the village, where her book was “commonly regarded as a pioneer for women in the field of the Middle East Studies” further noted by goodreads.com. This paper will be presented in four parts. First is the overall commentary and critiques of Khaled Al-Quzahy about the book. Secondly, present other author who conducts a review of the same book. Thirdly, answer the following questions; 1) In what ways is Arab life different and similar from Americans, 2) What have we learned about the middle east that might help us understand the current situation, 3) Do you think we could do what Fernea did, and 4) Does Fernea seem to show respect the Arab life or look down on it. And finally, this presents an impression in the overall. Important critiques of Al-Quzahy on the Book

Author Khaled Al-Quzahy has an impression that Ms. Elizabeth Fernea was very honest in presenting the culture of the Sheik in an Iraqi village with following comments: 1. Anti-conquest was used to analyse the Book in which in the eyes of travel writers would read some references and write something of the culture even in a point of destroying the society to make appear good to the reader. 2. Substantive contribution that the book was primarily written to contribute to understanding the social life of the people in the village. A precise and honest description of people, traditions and events that will support the aesthetic merit. This is also coupled with reflexivity in the book that helps reader make judgment about the content and its impact to the reader that the content of the piece of work is credible in its sense. The credibility of book of Fernea is a product of the immersion she did in the villages on a pace by pace, until she was able to adopt the level of a woman in the village. And she even went into the very level of practicing the work and lifestyle of a woman by cooking rice, not to appear before men during men-to-men talk. And the most down-to-earth deed she did is wearing the veil and abaya which is entirely different from the society she came from which is to submit to the traditions of the local both in style as well as in relationship of men-to-women dominance. 3. Disorienting orientalist’s discourse is an attempt to level side that the westerners point of view of the orients as exotic, erotic and dehumanized reinforced by the more in a none...
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