The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World

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Zed Books Ltd., Oct 15, 2015 - Social Science - 496 pages
This powerful non-fiction account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago.

Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering. She goes on to explore the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human faith.

The Hidden Face of Eve remains a classic of modern Arab writing.


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This book glorifies terrorism and terrorists. Which is a pity, because there are plenty of Arab women who do fight for their rights and their freedom and manage not to turn into the absolute trash of a person by resorting to murdering of innocent civilians.

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I really like this valuable book, I read it in my own language,Farsi, many years ago and I bought it again. Because I want to read it again. I recommend this book to every single woman in this world, specially Muslims. This book brings up many different feelings, humanity and shame. God bless Mrs. Saadawi.
اين كتاب با ارزش را بسيار دوست دارم. سالها پيش، "چهره عريان زن عرب" را خوانده بودم، ولى خريدم تا دوباره بخوانم. خواندن اين كتاب را به تمام زنان دنيا توصيه مى كنم مخصوصا زنان مسلمان. اين كتاب احساسات مختلف، انسانيت و شرمندگى را بر مى انگيزد. لطف خداوند شامل حال خانم سعداوى باشد.

Selected pages


Foreword by Ronak Husni Preface to the English Edition
The Question that No One Would Answer
Sexual Aggression against the Female Child
The Grandfather with Bad Manners
The Injustice of Justice
The Very Fine Membrane Called Honour
Man the God Woman the Sinful
Woman at the Time of the Pharaohs
Liberty to the Slave But Not for the Woman
The Role of Women in Arab History
Love and Sex in the Life of the Arab
The Heroine in Arab Literature

Circumcision of Girls
Obscurantism and Contradiction
The Illegitimate Child and the Prostitute
Abortion and Fertility
Distorted Notions about Femininity Beauty and Love
The Thirteenth Rib of Adam
Arab Pioneers of Womens Liberation
Work and Women
Marriage and Divorce
An Afterword

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About the author (2015)

Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned writer, novelist and fighter for women’s rights both within Egypt and abroad. She holds honorary doctorates from, among others, the universities of York, Illinois at Chicago, St Andrews and Tromso as well as Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her many prizes and awards include the Premi Internacional Catalunya in 2003, the Council of Europe North–South Prize in 2004, the Women of the Year Award (UK) in 2011, the Sean MacBride Peace Prize (Ireland) in 2012, and the French National Order of Merit in 2013. Her books have been translated into over forty languages worldwide. They are taught in universities across the world.

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