Married to a Bedouin, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'"Where you staying?" the Bedouin asked. "Why you not stay with me tonight - in my cave?"' Thus begins Marguerite van Geldermalsen's story of how a New Zealand-born nurse came to be married to Mohammad Abdallah Othman, a Bedouin souvenir-seller from the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

It was 1978 and she and a friend were travelling through the Middle East when Marguerite met the charismatic Mohammad who convinced her that he was the man for her. A life with Mohammad meant moving into his ancient cave and learning to love the regular tasks of baking shrak bread on an open fire and collecting water from the spring. And as Marguerite feels herself becoming part of the Bedouin community, she is thankful for the twist in fate that has led her to this contented life.

Marguerite's light-hearted and guileless observations of the people she comes to love are as heart-warming as they are valuable, charting Bedouin traditions now lost to the modern world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages, Section: 8, colour photos
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781844082209



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I met this author (and bought the book) in Petra, Jordan. It's a fascinating story about how a woman from New Zealand met, married and lives with a Bedouin man and his culture. Not to mention she lived in one of the 7 Wonders of the World. I highly recommend this book for people who plan to visit Jordan or the Middle East.

Review by

Although I enjoyed this book I came away feeling a little unsatisfied. The author says herself towards the end that the story she has given us is not the complete one - it is the rose-tinted version. Perhaps though I just wanted it to be another book, one with more background history and social commentary.

Also by Marguerite Van Geldermalsen