The Consequences of Love

by zee

Under the hot sun, the Jeddah streets resemble a scene from an old black-and-white movie: the women dressed like long, dark shadows and the men in their light cotton tunics. Naser, an outsider in Saudi, is unable to adjust to the country that restricts men-women interaction, and he feels increasingly trapped. And then, a small piece of paper is dropped at his feet – a love note, from a woman whose face he has never seen and whose voice he has never heard – and that has changed his life.

She tells him that she will wear a pair of pink shoes the next time she passes so that he can pick her out from the other women in their identical black abayas. Erotic tension runs high; Naser and his habibati begin to exchange letters. But in moments of doubt the pink shoes seem to lead him into a cul-de-sac of thwarted desire, fraught with danger. Relationships between unmarried men and women are illegal under the strict Wahabism of Saudi state rule – and it’s not long before their real, but illicit, love must face the hardest test of all…

–editted from here

From the synopsis it seems like a simple and sweet love story (or is it just me?). That was what I thought when I bought the book. The title was attractive enough, the synopsis seems really cute – imagine, love notes in this modern era! But nooooo. It was much, much more than that.

Yes, the love story is absolutely gripping. But more than that, it gives a shocking insight into the lives of the people in Saudi Arabia. It’s just too difficult to imagine that such civilisation actually exists – the kafeel system, and the effects of over-controlling the sexuality between men and women.

Oh yeah. I didn’t know Eritrea actually exists on our world map! Such a lovely name, like a fairy tale world :)

Spot Eritrea!

Their language is known as Tigrinya. OMG even the name of the language sounds so beautiful! (I must be crazy lol.) It’s a sad country though, with the war with Sudan and Ethiopia and stuff.

And here’s a video I found about Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Hmmm well from the photos the city doesn’t look too inviting *cough but I guess going there must be quite an experience, with it being “more Mediterranean than Africa”. I LOVE the culture of outdoor cafes!