Guest of the Sheik
, by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, tells the journey of her two year stay in
El Nahra, a rural village in Iraq.
She is the wife of Bob Fernea, an anthropologist working
toward his Doctorate degree.
Although she was not an anthropologist, she also had reasons for
While in Iraq, she collected data on the beliefs, customs, and daily lives of women in the
She became a major asset to her husband, who was not permitted to converse with
This book was divided into five different parts.
Each part differed in length.
points of the book were the different seasons, marriage traditions, division of labor, and religious
This book tells of the hardships she encountered while trying to associate with the
women and becoming accustomed to their cultural differences.
During the course of their stay,
Elizabeth studied the way that women performed their duties and the daily interactions they took
Bob also lived amongst the men and studied their ways, and did library research for
two weeks in Baghdad.
The first few days were rough for both of them, as they encountered
many setbacks, however, they were able to find friends and conduct complete research.
Elizabeth and Bob are venturing on their honeymoon, to El Nahra, Iraq.
Their method of
transportation consisted of a taxi that held six people, and spent two hours going ten miles.
were the guest of Sheik Hamid Abdul Emir el Hussein, the chief of the El Eshadda tribe.
offered them his first house, a mud hut. Before Elizabeth was able to get out of the taxi, she first
had to put on her
, a black cloth cover that women wore over their face.
This was to keep
their faces only being seen by their husbands.
That afternoon, their servant Mohammed came
and purchased food for them.
Also, Ali, another servant, delivered food from the women Sheiks