Life from Cabrini Green to Life in Saudi Arabia
by Tina M. Abulhassan
Trafford Publishing

"I respected the country, the religion, the traditions, the people, and the environment, but becoming a citizen was not for me."

This short autobiography captures the author's life story, starting with her humble beginnings at the Cabrini Green Housing Project in Illinois. Later on, Abulhassan's mother moved the family to Valparaiso, Indiana, where the author and her siblings entered school. She experiences racism first-hand, as there were only a few African American families in an all-white town, and she tells the reader how she coped. Later on, after a string of jobs in high school, she entered Vincennes University, where she met her future Saudi Arabian husband, Yasser, who eventually took her to Saudi Arabia. Abulhassan describes the customs, daily life, and what it was like for a Christian woman living in Saudi Arabia, while being married to a Muslim. Later in life, Abulhassan moved back to the US with her children, but she remained married to Yasser, who stayed in Saudi.

The author has a straightforward writing style, and the memoir keeps the reader glued to the page. Abulhassan's life experiences shape this book, and the reader gets to meet the woman behind the text, as she talks about her children, how she was accepted by her husband's family, how she made her life in a foreign country, which was so different from her own, and how she decided that converting to Islam was not for her. In places, the narrative could use a little more showing rather than telling, but in general, this is a good book for those who like to experience the nuances of other cultures.

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