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Download Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia Audiobook, by Carmen bin Ladin
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,828 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carmen bin Ladin Narrator: Shohreh Aghdashloo Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2005 ISBN: 9781594831560
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On September 11, 2001, Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her brother-in-law was involved in these horrifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life, and the lives of her daughters, would never be the same again.

In 1974, Carmen, half-Swiss and half-Persian, married into the bin Ladin family. She was young and in love, an independent European woman about to join a complex clan and a culture she neither knew nor understood. In Saudi Arabia, she was forbidden to leave her home without the head-to-toe black abaya. Her face could never be seen by a man outside the family. And according to Saudi law, her husband could divorce her at will, without any kind of court procedure, and take her children away from her forever.

Carmen was an outsider among the bin Ladin wives, their closets full of haute couture dresses, their rights so restricted that they could not go outside their homes, not even to cross the street, without a chaperone. The author takes us inside the hearts and minds of these women, always at the mercy of the husbands who totally control their lives, and always convinced that their religion and culture are superior to any other. As Carmen tells of her struggle to save her marriage and raise her daughters to be freethinking young women, she describes this family’s ties to the Saudi royal family and introduces us to the ever loyal bin Ladin brothers, including one particular brother-in-law she was to encounter: Osama.

In 1988, in Switzerland, Carmen bin Ladin separated from her husband and began one of her toughest battles: to gain the custody of her three daughters. Now, with her candid memoir, she dares to pull off the veils that conceal one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressive countries in the world—and the bin Ladin family’s role within it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The gravity of the events Carmen writes of, her insider’s perspective and her engaging style make this memoir a page-turner.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A riveting testament to courage and determination, this intimate memoir of one woman’s spiritual reawakening and odyssey has bestseller written all over it.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kl | 2/16/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down. What an amazing look into a different culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia Chai | 2/13/2014

    " It's fascinating what happens behind closed doors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 1/29/2014

    " Since 911 affected all of us, this one is a good read for sure. Can recommend! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Bowman | 1/28/2014

    " This book was a fast, semi-interesting read about Carmen Bin Ladin, who was married to the brother of Osama. It does give a brief glimpse into a woman's life in Saudi Arabia (she was there in the 70s and 80s) and some interesting insight into the Saudi culture. I wasn't a huge fan of her writing style; it was a bit rambling and repetitive in her gripes, but it was a short read and worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/26/2014

    " Interesting insider view. And she was one of the upper crust! I think the most telling part of this book is when she asks (and this is me paraphrasing) 'I ask myself if I had had boys instead of girls would I have stayed?' I wonder... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B | 1/25/2014

    " 921 Bin Laden The sister-in-law of Bin Laden tells of her pretty much wretched life in Saudi Arabia and in the very rich Bin Laden family. Interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry Cogburn | 1/25/2014

    " Eye opening.... Osama Bin Laden's sister in law. Writing is amateur but the content is worthy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 1/21/2014

    " I read this for a book club. It was okay but no surprises. Her life was as I expected. "What we do for love." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Plewes | 1/16/2014

    " I cannot imagine living in the oppressive life of a woman in Saudi Arabia..this brought it to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cnelsonquilt | 1/6/2014

    " i found this to be very interesting and enlightening "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delage | 1/1/2014

    " Nice i "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara Totoro Rugg | 1/1/2014

    " A quick read - I read it in about a week of lunch hours. Interesting look at a different lifestyle. Made me appreciate being an American. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 12/28/2013

    " Carmen has something to say on the plight of a Saudi woman, but her thoughts are a bit scattered. If the reader knew nothing about women in Saudi Arabia, one could learn from the author's experiences, but there are better books out there that do a superior job of teaching the reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliana | 12/8/2013

    " Very interesting from the perspective of mixed cultures that clash and the adjustments needed to be made in order to survive... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mei | 12/1/2013

    " Buku yang "agak" self-fish" dan terkesan menyudutkan golongan tertentu. Terlepas dari posisi penulis akibat menanggung nama "Bin Laden", buku yang alur ceritanya ngalir ini kurang cover both side. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley Schwartau | 11/24/2013

    " I loved reading this. It was fascinating and disturbing. Not the best written things - sometimes repetitive, but overall it's a good story and I learned a lot about Saudi Arabia and the Bid Laden way of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 10/31/2013

    " Listened to the audio. Really good reader. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen Hummel | 10/31/2013

    " The book was interesting and an easy read...I thought it could have been written better in some ways...she sidetracks a bit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaclyn458 | 8/24/2013

    " This nonfiction book was quite interesting. I highly recommend it. I could hardly put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naomi | 7/14/2013

    " A unique, insider point of view from a woman formerly married to a brother of Osama Bin Ladin, and how she and her daughters have surived live in Saudi Arabia and in a post 9/11 world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanna | 6/29/2013

    " This look into life in the Bin Laden clan in Saudi Arabia was interesting, but she missed the chance to dig deep and explain more about the origins of the clan system and how it evolved and enables the type of oppression she depicts. Still, an interesting perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 6/5/2013

    " A detailed look at how western ideals differ from those in Saudi Arabia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 4/26/2013

    " Pretty interesting book. I have always been interested in books that show life for women in the KSA, but this one adds a twist: Marrying into the infamous Bin Laden family! Interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 4/26/2013

    " Pretty interesting look at the inner workings of the Bin Laden family and the life-style of the upper echelons of Saudi society, which is truly medieval, amazingly hypocritical, entirely defensive. Another book that makes me ever so grateful I am not a woman in a muslim country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 4/4/2012

    " Very interesting glimpse into an otherwise totally veiled lifestyle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/15/2012

    " loved it and was horrified at the life of educated muslim women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 2/4/2012

    " Learned a lot about the Saudi Arabian culture and the Bin Ladin family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/26/2012

    " This is a great look at how different cultures affect relationships and one woman's journey into the middle east and her attempt to leave. It is very informational and inspiring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis | 10/10/2011

    " Super easy, yet interesting read. I would have to say that it is a very western view of the Saudi Kingdom, but that is expected seeing who the author is and why she wrote it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olean Public Library | 7/24/2011

    " Carmen Bin Ladin talks about her years of married life in a male dominated community where women are no more than house pets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roadhouse | 6/29/2011

    "
    Saudi Arabia is scary.

    That's all I have to say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 6/27/2011

    " Insight into the culture of Saudi Arabia told by the former wife of one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 6/22/2011

    " Very interesting glimpse into an otherwise totally veiled lifestyle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 6/5/2011

    " I really like this book. She has a way of writing to show the good and the bad... very clearly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hazel | 6/3/2011

    " Good insight into what life is like for women in Saudi Arabia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daisy | 6/2/2011

    " a very interesting inside look at the bin laden family and the saudi way of life for women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 5/12/2011

    " This book shed some light on the oppressiveness of this culture on women. I had no idea how bad it was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia D. | 5/7/2011

    " It's a really amazing real story about the class of civilization between Western and Fundamentalist Islam and cope how she deals with that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 4/15/2011

    " A detailed look at how western ideals differ from those in Saudi Arabia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hashim | 4/3/2011

    " Revealing and shocking portrayal of a foreigner living in the Kingdom! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 3/27/2011

    " Provides a penetrating look inside the Saudi society, and the treatment of Saudi women "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 3/20/2011

    " Well written autobiography. I love learning about women in the middle east and this is one of my favorite biography's on the subject "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gg | 3/2/2011

    " An amazing look inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and at the roles of women in the country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leanne | 1/24/2011

    " Amazingly eye-opening book about Saudi Arabia from Osama Bin Ladin's sister-in-law. "

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About the Author

Carmen Bin Ladin, born in Switzerland, is Osama bin Laden’s sister-in-law, a situation she describes in her New York Time bestselling memoir Inside the Kingdom.

About the Narrator

Shohreh Aghdashloo is an Iranian Amercican film and television actress. Her performance in the 2003 film, House of Sand and Fog, earned her an Academy Award nomination. In 2008, she earned an Emmy for her work in the television drama, House of Saddam. Also an audiobook narrator, she has read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden, and The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani.