Book Review by Anjali Grover
BEHIND THE VEILS OF YEMEN is a memoire of an American missionary family’s experience in Yemen. I’s a story of Audra Grace Shelby’s (author) courage to fight the odds, take risks, and step out of comfort zones to venture into the unknown both geographically and culturally.
The story, however, doesn’t seem to be standout as well as the title of the book does- the narration of events being quite at a surface level and failing to delve deeper into author’s perspectives, feelings and insights. Additionally, the idea of the missionary that is geared towards ‘conversion’ rather than serving the society for the bigger good seems myopic and utterly incomprehensible, particularly in context of growing globalization and diversity.
Statistically, Yemen is one of the Arab world’s poorest country. Issues such as slavery and ‘Khat’ addiction, corruption, unemployment and illiteracy continue to chew it to ‘nothingness’ as a termite. It needs some serious work and perhaps collective efforts of many shall slowly but successfully be able to pull it out of the miseries and ill practices. As I write this review, Yemen suffers political turmoil, war and human catastrophe. I am too naïve to understand the politics behind it, all I wish for is peace and harmony.