The Heliopolis Library will hold a cultural symposium, featuring none other than pioneering Egyptian female and feminist, Nawal El Saadawi. The symposium will take place on Saturday the 10th of March. The symposium’s main topic will be a novel that Saadawi authored in 1944 titled Memoirs of a Child.
The symposium comes in due time, with March the 8th being International Women’s Day. And for those who do not know who Saadawi is, well let’s just say that she is a figure that all Egyptians ought to be proud of. In 1955, Sadaawi graduated as a medical doctor from Cairo University, and her work in small Egyptian villages exposed her to the full host of physical and mental issues faced by women as a direct result of Egypt’s sexist culture.
Saadawi quickly became an outspoken activist and controversial feminist author; from books openly discussing female sexuality, to novels discussing the toxic effects of honor culture and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Saadawi’s works became founding pillars of Second-wave feminism. This work, however, made her a target of several forms of persecution in Egypt. Accordingly, Saadawi was forced to flee Egypt, and accept teaching positions at Duke University’s Asian and African Languages Department, as well as at the University of Washington. She has also held positions at a number of prestigious colleges and universities including Cairo University, Yale University, and Harvard University.
Saadawi received several international awards, and has been nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature three times. All this, and much more, means that listening to this remarkable woman is a worthwhile pursuit!