Nawal El Saadawi: “All people are mixed blood, the more mixed you are the better”

Nawal El Saadawi: “All people are mixed blood, the more mixed you are the better”

African Arguments

Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, Research Fellow; Founder: Bookshy Blog
Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, United Kingdom

The iconic Egyptian writer speaks out about being ignored by “colonial capitalist patriarchal powers” and how today’s African women writers are leading a revolt.

With a career spanning half a century and encompassing some 60 works of fiction and non-fiction, Nawal El Saadawi is today one of the Arab world’s and Africa’s most pre-eminent figures.

Over several decades, the 84-year-old Egyptian’s books have challenged the status quo of patriarchal, religious and capitalist structures. And the writer has developed an international reputation as a courageous activist who carries on questioning those in power in spite of the dangers that can come with it.

According to Saadawi, she inherited her rebellious side from her parents and paternal grandmother, and her willingness to speak out has been clear throughout her writing. In her many works, she has tackled a range of controversial topics such as female genital mutilation, sex work, violence against women, and religious fundamentalism. And she has explored these complex issues through both fiction – in the likes of Women at Point Zero, Searching, and God Dies by the Nile – and non-fiction – such as in Women and Sex and various memoirs.

As a feminist writer and activist, Saadawi has raised awareness around women’s rights globally, but she has had a particularly strong influence on the feminist movement in her home country and amongst young Egyptians…

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