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A Journey to America

N. Aulia Salim
1954
United States (Original Language: Indonesian)

From the Preface
These letters were not written at first for publication. When we were heading out of the country, one of my relatives asked that I write letters telling stories of our adventures. They wanted to know everything about our journey from beginning to end. Because our relationship was friendly and our tastes much the same, it was not difficult to know exactly what would interest them.…

A Journey to Shiraz

Sakineh Soltan
1905
Shiraz, Iran (Original Language: Persian)

On June 1 1905 at the command of His Majesty Mozaffar-od-din Shah and the request of Soltan ‘Abd-ol-majid Mirza ‘Ain-od-dowleh and Her Highness Shams-od-dowleh I had to go to Shiraz with Her Highness Anis-od-dowleh. For several days I was busy with the arrangements and paperwork for his lord Mo’tasam-ol-molk, my husband, who was to take the bride. The lady Nozhat-os-saltaneh was sent to invite us to go to the andarun from where the bride would depart, inshallah.…

Collection of Impressions of the Soviet Union from Ten Indonesian Women

Suharti Suwarto
1956
Moscow (Original Language: Bahasa Indonesia)

The Soviet Union Women’s Movement
In our meeting with the Komite Wanita Sovjet Uni Anti Fasis [Soviet Union Anti-Fascist Women’s Committee], which took place on August 24, 1954, our group was given a clear explanation of the development of the women’s movement in the Soviet Union. Comrad Parfenova (Vice Chair) of the Committee explained various issues concerning the progress of the women’s movement, summarized here as follows.…

A Tour of Shimla

Rafat Jahan
1914
Shimla, India (Original Language: Urdu)

Part I:

Today I give the descriptions of Shimla for the benefit of our sisters, who intend to come over here. We are for ten days. We took the train on Tuesday, 22 September in Bhopal. at 8’am in the morning and arrived in Kalka at 5 am the following day where the train for Shimla was ready to depart. We took that train and on our way were with several British ‘mems’ and while we were still busy in conversation, our journey ended.…

Address

Safia Jabir Ali
1920
London, England (Original Language: English)

Text from a lecture on a trip to London:

As to the city of London, you have all heard and read of it. I am sure, so I shall not weary you with descriptions all the wonder full things I saw there – the old and new palaces, the huge buildings, the enormous traffic, the gardens, parks, places of amusement, museums, Wax-works, exhibitions etc etc.…

Manifestations of Light

Nur Begum
1933
Mecca (Original Language: Panjabi)

Arrival in Jeddah
[Getting off the boat,] there was chaos and confusion all around
As everyone searched through the luggage looking for their name.
As soon as we got off the boat and set our feet on the dock
God granted us our first sight of the Arabs.
There was a stone kiosk beside the dock
With a few Arabs sitting on chairs – God!…

It Happened to Me Thus

Qazi ‘Abd al-Ghaffar
1950
Muradabad, India (Original Language: Urdu)

In the same way that a broken film projector fails to display the full image on the screen, these blind impressions of the beginning [of my life] hardly remain on the forgotten shelf of my memory. How strange it is! The first thing [of my childhood] that I remember is a corner of our house where my father’s pencil-sharpener was kept.…

The World in the Eyes of a Woman

Begum Sarbuland Jang
1909
Damascus (Original Language: Urdu)

City life in Damascus

Two-horse carriages can be had very cheaply here, and can also be found at any time. Phaeton carriages and other vehicles are also widely available. In our India, the common people use simple yakkas and tongas, while here fine carriages are the norm. We finally arrived at the doors of the [Umayyid] Mosque, taking in all the sights along the way.…

Sea Travel during War

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
1940
Mediterranean Sea (Original Language: Urdu)

We left for India on 6 January by Viceroy of India.  We were commanded to arrive at ship one day prior to departure, so that the ship can leave whenever appropriate. Due to war, there were lots of problems in getting out of England. We had to sign on thousands of forms. We had to return identity card, elision card and gas masks.…

A Tour of Holland

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
1939
The Netherlands (Original Language: Urdu)

In the last weeks, my husband had to visit Holland for government related work. I also accompanied him. Holland is a small country in Northern Europe, and for the last two centuries it hasn’t played a prominent role in European politics. Even though the struggle for freedom against Spain in the sixteenth century had great significance then, by the end of the eighteenth century Napoleon’s conquering army had reached the frontier of every European country.…