In case you were wondering about the authenticity of Ahmed's personal narrative, you need only to check the blurb on the back cover of the work. It straight up tells you that you're reading the memoir of a very learned Egyptian woman.
We wouldn't blame you if you began with the epilogue and felt that you might be entering a fictional world. Ahmed's writing style in those first few pages feels like fiction, as though we're entering a fantasy world. She's quite careful, though, as she sets down her story, to open up not only the details of her life but to share with us her purpose in remembering things past. Understanding her motivations for writing help to ground us in the reality of her story.