Two Women in One by Nawal El-Saadawi

On Monday, November 1st we discussed Two Women in One  by Nawal El-Saadawi. Saadawi is an Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam. This groundbreaking book was first published in 1975 and Saadawi paid for her bravery with exile. The main character, a woman who is trying to figure out who she is—amidst the forces of her parents, her teachers, and society in general, is drawn to a young man and then a life of student activism.

It felt appropriate to read Nawal El-Saadawi’s groundbreaking novella as we launch Hayv Kahraman’s exhibition – Pins and Needles – which explores concerns of conditioned behavior and gender roles with an imagery that combines the innocence of childhood games with a delicate painting style. For more details check out

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The Last Chapter (Al-Fasl Al-Akhir) by Leila Abouzeid

For September 2010 we read The Last Chapter (Al-Fasl Al-Akhir) by Leila Abouzeid. The first Moroccan woman writer of literature to be translated into English, Abouzeid is a pioneer among her Moroccan contemporaries in that she writes in Arabic rather than in French. This thought-provoking, semi-autobiographical book tells the story of Aisha, a young Moroccan woman, and her struggle to find an identity in the Morocco of the second half of the twentieth century.  Continue reading