Published by Silverfish Books
Number of pages 208
Year of Publication 2014
'A Call to Travel' recounts the travels of the author, Rumaizah Abu Bakar to several Muslim countries, specifically Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. In each of these countries, she did the tourist thing and visited museums, mosques, old buildings and went shopping. In Saudi Arabia she performed the hajj at Mecca and it was interesting to read of her experiences as the hajj is an important event in a Muslim’s life but shrouded in mystery for non-muslims.
As a Muslim woman travelling alone, Rumaizah faced some challenges but overall, apart from nosy locals, persistent shop owners, and bad taxi drivers, she travelled safely. A Call to Travel is a personal journey of the author and Rumaizah writes not only of the places she has visited and people she has met but also reveals her own views as a modern Muslim woman.
Rumaizah writes with an open mind and is often humorous, laughing at herself and the little ironies of life she encounters in her travels. This is not an adventure story, although there are adventures; it is not even a book about Islam; instead it shows the everyday life of ordinary muslims and for that it is eye-opening.
“The delicate sensibility of these stories endow them with a gentle honesty.”
Colin Thubron, award winning travel writer and novelist
“The stories are delightful shapes of time that leave an impression that life is very real yet elusive, shifting between transience and permanence. The reader can choose to observe and ponder, or travel and disappear in the stories.”
Isa Kamari, novelist, essayist, musician and playwright
“If you’re looking for the frenetic, the jangling, the adrenaline-filled tales of so much modern travel writing, you’ve come to the wrong place. To travel with Rumaizah Abu Bakar is to voyage into a world of the quiet and understated, a place where wonder unfurls in fine delight under a gracious and appreciative eye.”
Carl Hoffman, author of Savage Harvest (2014 NYT bestseller)