About the Story

What podcast listeners are saying about Dreams in the Medina:

“This is an amazingly accurate, insightful, and forbidden-feeling peek into the lives, thoughts and aspirations of female university students in Damascus.”

“The story-telling is terrific. I felt that I was right there!”

“I’m learning about young women’s lives in the ME.  Female, college-aged friendship and drama similar to that in the West.  The reader’s voice is clear.  Good bed time story.”


School, sisters, cooking, cleaning… these were the most exciting activities of Leila’s childhood in a village in Dera’a, in southern Syria. She grew up expecting that her parents would eventually choose a nice local boy for her to marry, which would define the rest of her life. When Leila was accepted to study English Literature at the University of Damascus, everything changed. A whole new world opened to her through the literature she was reading, and then she started making new friends. Roxy, a fiery young woman who had married a wealthy man without telling her family. Huda, who was ready to sacrifice absolutely everything for her career. Maha, who seemed to have it all. And Ahmed, who swept Leila off her feet. As her world expanded, Leila began to believe that she, too, might write her own destiny.