Prologue: Rahnia’s Reproductive Journey
1. The nation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is made up of seven
emirates, or principalities, each governed by a heredity ruler, or emir. The
seven confederated emirates are Abu Dhabi (in which the nation’s capital
is located), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al- Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm
al- Quwain. Sharjah and Dubai are neighboring emirates. Sharjah oﬀers
lower- cost housing than Dubai and thus is often considered a suburb of the
much glitzier Dubai.
2. From 1961 until 1991, Eritrea fought a long war with Ethiopia, eventually
gaining its in dependence. This was followed by the Eritrean– Ethiopian War,
which lasted from May 1998 to June 2000. Taken together, these wars in
the Horn of Africa constitute one of the world’s longest running conflicts,
between two of the world’s poorest countries. Millions of dollars were
spent on the Eritrean- Ethiopian War, tens of thousands of casualties oc-
curred, and thousands of people fled as refugees. Fought over disputed ter-
ritory, the war resulted in minor border changes, but Ethiopia still occupies
land claimed by Eritrea.
3. Excess embryos produced in a couple’s ivf cycle can be cryopreserved, or
frozen, for later use. A so- called frozen cycle is much less complicated than
a “fresh cycle” of ivf. A frozen cycle requires only the transferring of an
embryo to a woman’s uterus. It bypasses the preliminary steps of an ivf
cycle, which are hormonal stimulation, egg collection, sperm collection,
fertilization of the egg by the sperm in a laboratory, and the production of
4. A clinical pregnancy is a pregnancy in which an ultrasound scan has shown
at least one fetal heartbeat. However, as in Rahnia’s case, not all clinical
pregnancies lead to live births.
5. Because it is disallowed in Sunni Islam, egg donation from one woman
to another is not practiced by most Sunni Muslims, who make up
80–90 percent of the world’s Muslims.