21 September 2017
Julian Margaret Gibbs
Modern Muslim heroines
As she edges through the Istanbul traffic en route to a dinner party, Peri’s bag is stolen from her car. She astonishes herself by chasing the thief and hitting him to get it back. Peri is gentle, well dressed, a typical wife and mother from the Istanbul haute bourgeoisie. Yet as the photo that spills out of her bag reveals, she has a secret past. Years ago, she studied at Oxford with the other “daughters of Eve” shown in the picture: defiant Shirin who abhorred the repressions of her Muslim background and the even more defiant Mona who embraced Islam wholeheartedly. Some disaster brought Peri’s own ambitions to a halt; the fire inside her only reveals itself in flashes nowadays.
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