Rate this book

From Dunes To Dior (2014)

by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar(Favorite Author)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 1
Amazon Digital Services
review 1: I'm not usually the sort who picks up nonfiction (unless it's as research for my writing). With From Dunes to Dior, however, my attention was captured immediately--and I read this insightful travel memoir in just two sittings--a real feat for me as of late. Mohanalakshmi communicates with her reader in an academic yet conversational tone as she paints a picture of expat life in Qatar, addressing values, fashion, opinions of the West, a friendly people in a striated society. Further depth is added by Moha's unique social location as an ethnically South Asian woman with an American accent and PhD to boot. But where are you from? What box can we place you in? people often wonder, though Moha is all-too-happy to remain boxless. It's hard not to love a book that dedicates a cha... morepter to the usurped chocolate-glazed donut holes at her local Dunkins while never leaving the overarching topic of life in Doha. Grab yourself a box of munchkins, and prepare to be transported to a world that is different while still seeming incredibly familiar. Bonus: Who wouldn't enjoy the discussion of why Paris Hilton and Osama Bin Laden are one and the same? :-PNote: Since Moha is a Novel Publicity client, I can't ethically assign a star rating to her books. Hopefully, my reviews speak for themselves!
review 2: As a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf, Mohana is ideally placed to open our minds to the subtle prejudices that help us simplify our complex world. From Dunes to Dior is an engaging view of how it feels to live in one of the fastest changing countries in the world. Mohana describes Qatar as ‘one the smallest and safest countries in the world, an oasis of calm smack dab in the global hotspot of the Middle East.’Mohana travelled to Qatar (a country the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut) in 2005 to support one of the American universities setting up a branch campus in the capital Doha. Her story of establishing a life and career in the Arabian Desert is shared by thousands of immigrants who have relocated to the rapidly developing country, as many of the people living in Qatar are expatriate workers of multiple nationalities, including migrant workers from across South Asia to American and European professionals.I was surprised at how little I knew about Qatar, although the tragic recent mall fire had brought the country back into the news. In our haste to get on with our lives it is all too easy to think Qatar must be a bit like Dubai – in the same way that Mohana found that people were constantly finding quick ways to ‘categorise’ her.Refreshingly positive about this ignorance, Mohana recalls she was made to feel rare, strange, special, and unique at middle and high school in North Florida. At college in North Carolina she felt ‘like a fly in a glass of milk’ an anomaly. In Qatar has name advertises that she comes from India – but her Sri Lankan features cause confusion.It didn't help when she moved to Qatar where if you are Indian, Pakistan, Sri Lankan, or Bangladeshi, you are likely a construction worker, maid, driver, cook, or errand person – or if you are American, British, Australian, or Canadian, you are probably an engineer, teacher, or involved in the oil industry. (Mohana also discovered that her name sounded very much like Muhanna, a very common and popular man’s name in the region.)In turns funny, poignant and touching, From Dunes to Dior will definitely help you understand Qatar – and possibly make you think about your own prejudices. less
Reviews (see all)
I have updated my review of this book. It will go live on Monday, January 21, 2013
An excellent insight into the complex social structure of the Gulf region.
I absolutely LOVED this book.
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)