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Between Two Worlds

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Penguin USA, Inc.

Between Two Worlds - Plot & Excerpts

The first part is an Islamic religious ceremony, after which the couple is generally allowed to get to know each other more intimately than they would be permitted to do on their own, as a kind of sanctioned trial run. If this fails, the marriage is annulled. If not, the couple is deemed formally married when they are presented to their community at a large public reception—a wedding party. Often there are many months between these two events. In our case, the public ceremony would follow soon after the religious one.
On the morning of my Islamic wedding, I let my mother dress me in the gold-and-white creation she had designed for me in Baghdad, a stunning traditional Iraqi sayya, a full-length dress topped with a long vest that she had embroidered with flowers and poetry in gold thread. I don’t remember feeling much of anything as our wedding party set off on the highway in two cars for Fakhri’s house. I was a backseat passenger on my way from an Iraqi past to an American future.

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