Remembering Egyptian feminist novelist Nawal El Saadawi
Posted by pete-g on May 4, 2021, 12:50 am
I don't think there's been any acknowldegement on TLN of the death in late March, aged 89, of the great Egyptian writer and activist, Nawal El Saadawi - one of those people who the world is poorer without. |
A woman for whom the word 'firebrand' might have been invented, and a thorn in the side of successive Egyptian governments, she tirelessly campaigned for the rights of Arab women through her fiction, her work as a doctor and her (Marxist) political militancy.
A totally fearless and unapologetic feminist who was imprisoned for her beliefs, and became a target of Islamic fundamentalist groups, she nevertheless took issue with some aspects of 'western' feminism (not quite sure which - would be happy to be enlightened).
Herewith a brief excerpt, in the voice of the narrator, from her riveting novel 'Woman at Point Zero':
'My virtue, like the virtue of all those who are poor, could never be considered a quality, or an asset, but rather was looked upon as a kind of stupidity, or simple-mindedness, to be despised even more than depravity or vice.'
A few years ago she made this intriguing comment:
'I believe that if we get rid of the patriarchal class system governing the world, there would be no religion.'
Like many observations by people of vision and integrity, it somehow has the ring of truth.