Veiled Honor gives us a glimpse into an American’s encounter with the radically changing Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia, before and after 9/11. From the shock of seeing how women (and non-Muslims) are treated to the fears and suspicions she and we all have come to feel regarding that part of the world, the author paints a sobering picture of the problems and challenges facing the Arab world today as it struggles with the forces of both modernity and radical Islam.
At the same time, Ms. Ross challenges us in the West to respond to the radicalization of the Arab world and to explore how we might prod those problematic segments to adopt enlightened views of life, liberty, religion, and freedom without imposing our culture on them or striking at their dignity and religious values.
Clearly, the world is going to be more and more split between the forces of radicalism emanating mainly from the Islamic world on the one hand and the voices of moderation arising from the rest of the world – among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
Veiled Honor gives us a remarkable insight into the evolving Arab world and the challenges we in the West face in dealing with it. You need to read it!
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Veiled Honor is a must read for every American. It contains powerful information that could change your views of world events. Mary Laurel Ross has chronicled the significant occasions of her life by connecting them in a time line with events taking place on the world’s stage, resulting in a fascinating multi-layered book.
For the military family there is obvious relevance in Veiled Honor. Written from the perspective of an educator and the wife of a career military officer, the book defines the struggles and challenges of the military family as an exciting adventure well worth the effort required.
The history enthusiast will enjoy reading the chronology of Middle Eastern conflicts, the role Saudi Arabia played in them, the irony of dubious alliances, and the resultant impact on all our lives. The author provides an intelligent analysis of those conflicts and gives ample documentation to support her conclusions.
Advocates for women’s rights and religious freedom will be challenged by the shocking descriptions of life for females living under the strictest interpretation of Islamic law. The author speaks honestly and candidly about Muslim cultures in the Middle East and specifically in Saudi Arabia where she was given a revealing view from inside the restricted life of Saudi women. Few non-Muslims have had the experiences she writes about.
And finally, Veiled Honor takes the reader on a journey down the path leading to the attack on America of 9-11 by giving context to the events and personalities involved in the deadly terrorist act. You will be intrigued by the connection between major players who plotted the destruction of America.
The book is meticulously researched and richly detailed. It is both credible and relevant. As a pilot who flew in Desert Shield in late 1990 and spent time in Persian Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, I can attest to the accuracy of her writing. Reading the author’s description of Khamis Mushayt,
for example, was like landing, once again, in that remote air station. It was described exactly as I remembered.
I became acquainted with Mary Laurel Ross over forty years ago when her husband and I attended Air Force Flight School together. That she so quickly became friends with persons of diametrically opposed cultures is totally consistent with her friendly, outgoing, and gentle personality and of no surprise to me. Reading her book was like sitting down with old friends for a most enjoyable evening of stimulating conversation, provocative thought, and nostalgic reminiscing.
Lt. Colonel Randall Hurst, USAFR (Ret)