Book Review: The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

Antagonist is Natasha Hussein or Natasha Wilson, a half Russian and half Sudanese professor of Islamic studies who despised her last name because of Saddam Hussein so changed it to her Scottish step father’s surname, Wilson. Natasha is doing a research on the life of the Muslim leader, Imam Shamil, who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. As luck may have it, her star student, Osama Raja, who is called Oz or Ossie to hide bearing the same name as Osama bin Laden, is a descendant of Shamil. Oz invited Natasha to his house to meet his actress mother, Malak who confirmed the connection to Shamil and even showed her the sword Shamil fought with.

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