Leading writers, scholars and artists in dialogue with the Bidoun editorial collective in a series of Saturday seminars.
Nawal El Saadawi (born 1931) is an Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam, paying particular attention to the practice of female genital mutilation in her society.
She was among the protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo in 2011 and was very active in the international media in helping raise awareness of the demands of protestors and the history of struggle in Egypt.
As an activist, Saadwai has spoken and written prolifically against corruption and the foreign policy of the Egyptian Government under the rule of Anwar Sadat. Saadawi was detained at Qanatir Women's Prison and her incarceration formed the basis for her memoir, Mozakerati fi signel nissa (Memoirs from the Women's Prison, 1983). Earlier, contact with a prisoner at Qanatir served as inspiration for her earlier novel, Emra'a enda noktat el sifr (A Woman at Point Zero, 1975). In 1988, when her life was threatened by Islamists and political persecution, Saadawi was forced to flee Egypt. She accepted an offer to teach in America at Duke University's Asian and African Languages Department in North Carolina as well as the University of Washington in Seattle. She has since held positions at a number of prestigious colleges and universities including Cairo University, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Sorbonne, Georgetown, Florida State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, she returned to live in Egypt. She was awarded the 2004 North-South Prize by the Council of Europe.
About the Bidoun Library:
Founded in 2009, The Bidoun Library is a peripatetic resource of books, periodicals and ephemera developed by Bidoun Projects, a not-for-profit publishing, curatorial and educational initiative dedicated to supporting contemporary artists in and around the Middle East. This summer, The Bidoun Library will travel to the Serpentine Gallery to launch a special issue of Bidoun magazine produced during the revolution in Egypt. Bidoun will also be continuing their investigation into the diverse history of printed matter related to the Middle East, as well as exploring the swiftly changing state of UK libraries, focusing on London.
Nawal el Saadawi
© Nawal el Saadawi