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Nawal El Saadawi


6/12/18 7:00 pm

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Famed author and feminist campaigner Nawal El Saadawi leads a panel discussion on feminist movements in the Arab world and Iran from the 1950’s onwards.

El Saadawi has been a prominent figure and activist in Egypt, her novels tackle religion, love and female emancipation. Throughout her powerful body of litearture, El Saadawi brilliantly sets tales of personal struggles in the context of corruption and paints an unflinching picture of female oppression in traditional societies.

Joining Nawal El Saadawi on the panel are; Afaf Jabiri, Leila Alikarami, and Haifa Zangana.


Afaf Jabiri is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences/University of East London. Until 2016, she was LSE Fellow in Gender and a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Gender Studies/SOAS. Afaf has contributed to the teaching of courses on Gender and Islam and Gender in the Middle East, Gendering Migration and Diasporas at SOAS as well as at the University of Roehampton and University of Leicester.  For the last 20 years she has been advocating for gender equality, law, and policy reform in the Arab region, with a focus on issues related to gender based violence. Afaf is the author of the book entitled Gendered Politics and Law in Jordan. She also contributed to several global action-oriented research projects related to gender equality in the Middle East, which entailed analysis of gender equality, family laws, gender based violence, and women’s empowerment  programmes at the regional and national levels.

Leila Alikarami is a lawyer, human rights advocate, and an academic. At the national level she is a well recognised human right lawyer and women’s rights expert. Internationally, she has been honored by the European Union as a 2016 Sakharov Fellow in human rights and received the Anna Politkovskaya Award in 2009 from Reach All Women in War on behalf of the One Million Signatures Campaign. Dr Alikarami was profiled by Manon Schick, Amnesty Switzerland director, as one of her heroines in her book titled ‘Mes Heroines des femmes qui s’engagent’ in 2017. Dr Alikarami has written several academic articles on the issues related to women in Persian language, in Iran. She has also published numerous articles in influential English, French, Spanish, and Persian language media worldwide. She was one of the first women’s rights activists who raised the issue of marital rape in Iran and has written numerous articles and given interviews in the media on the matter.

Haifa Zangana is an author and activist. She has published three novels and four collections of short stories, among her other books; City of Widows, Dreaming of Baghdad and The Torturer in the Mirror, together with Ramsy Clark & Thomas Ehrlich Reifer.  She is a founding member of International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (IACIS); co-founder of Tadhamun: Iraqi Women Solidarity, and was an advisor for the UNDP report ‘Towards the rise of women in the Arab world’. As a consultant at ESCWA, she contributed to its reports including ‘Towards justice in the Arab world’, which was banned by UN General Secretary one day after its release. She is a weekly columnist for Al Quds Al Arabi, contributes to British and US media, and lectures regularly on Iraqi culture and women’s issues. Her latest book was A party for Thaera; Palestinian women writing life. Her current project focuses on encouraging women ex political prisoners in Tunisia to write their own experiences in prison within the process of Transitional justice..



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