September 20, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nawal El-Saadawi, Outspoken
Advocate of Arab Women's Rights,
To Speak at Smith
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-Egyptian medical
doctor, writer, political activist and feminist Nawal el-Saadawi
will discuss "Women, Globalization and Fundamentalism"
at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage
Hall, Smith College.
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The presentation is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.
Well known in the Arab world as a strong advocate of women's
rights, el-Saadawi is author of some 24 books, including "The
Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World" and the novels
"Firdaus," "Woman at Point Zero," "God
Dies by the Nile," " Memoirs from the Women's Prison,"
"The Circling Song" and "Death of Ex-Minister."
She has devoted her life to struggles against imperialism and
inequality in contemporary society. An outspoken advocate of
women's rights in the Arab world, she has been repeatedly punished
by the Egyptian government through arrest and imprisonment.
In 1982, she founded the Arab Women's Solidarity Association,
an international organization dedicated to "lifting the
veil from the mind" of Arab women. The organization earned
recognition by the United Nations as an Arab non-governmental
organization but was later shut down by the Egyptian government.
In her writings and articles, el-Saadawi has addressed taboo
issues of global inequalities and women's sexuality, consistently
condemning the concept of "family honor" and its notion
of virginity. She has protested against Anwar Sadat's and Hosni
Mubarak's regimes and has criticized the manipulation of Islam
by Arab governments. These themes have drawn fire, causing her
books to be banned in some Arab countries.
El-Saadawi was recently the subject of international attention
when the Egyptian government sought to divorce her from her husband
of 35 years on allegations that she was "anti-Islamic."
Currently a visiting professor at Montclair University in N.J.,
el-Saadawi is a member of the advisory board for Meridians, a
journal of feminism, race and transnationalism published by Smith