Mumkin Bukra: Memoir of a Sri Lankan Housemaid


Richard Anderson

Mumkin Bukra is Sandy’s memoir as told to the author, Richard Anderson, her husband and someone who spent a decade living and in the Middle East. A professor of architecture and urban planning for over forty years, Anderson holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Stanford, a master’s of urban planning from the University of Washington, and a PhD in regional science from Michigan State University. He also spent several years as a practicing urban planner and architect in Europe and the Pacific Northwest.

SKU: 9781627871440 Category:


Raised by her widowed mother in a Tamil village in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, “Sandy,” born Pooranam Elayathamby, grew up in poverty with her five sisters. Married at sixteen, she had three children before twenty and was widowed by age thirty. In the middle of a frightening twenty-year civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and left her family destitute, Sandy had no choice but to accept a housemaid job in the Middle East, working in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for nearly fifteen years, to send money home. She was one of the thousands of Sri Lankan women who risked being bullied, humiliated, and beaten by joining the workforce serving Middle Eastern households.

Mumkin Bukra—Arabic for “perhaps tomorrow”—recounts Sandy’s struggle to save her family, her home, and herself through several decades shaped by poverty, severe cultural adversities, and the horrors of a frightening civil war.

In this candid true story that will leave readers astounded by the human will, Sandy recounts the events that defined and shaped her life as a worker with little rights abroad. Hers is a story of courage, personal risk, and an unwavering faith and belief in herself and in God’s help for those who choose to endure. It is also the story of a mother who does anything she can to support her children and improve their lives.


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