Amy Mowafi: Fe-Mail 2
Entrepreneur, socialite, TV personality, wife, mother, daughter, sister; life is tough for Amy ‘Superwoman’ Mowafi. Fe-Mail 2 comes as the second release of Mowafi’s amalgamated collection of columns for Enigma magazine, which have acted as a cathartic public diary of sorts, as she reflects on love, marriage, motherhood and other equally scary adult subjects.
Following its release, Fe-Mail 1 was heralded as the Middle East’s answer to Sex and the City; a comparison that should be as worrying to Mowafi as it is inaccurate.
Unlike is the case with Carrie and friends, there are no shallow dramatics in Fe-Mail 2. Mowafi hasn’t deluded herself with the type of personal feelings of grandeur that drive Sex and the City. Instead, she questions some very universal subjects head-on. The degree to which her tales resonate with you is another issue all together, but even male readers will almost certainly find themselves nodding in agreeable fashion; whether it be down to a quip from beau-turned-husband, ‘the Boy’, or a Mowafi epiphany.
Unfortunately, as can be the case with this type of publication, the chapters often feel distanced from each other and the transition from magazine to book isn’t always successful.
However, the advantage of pulling her articles together, each of which is contemporaneous to its context, is that everything feels so present. The chapters may be somewhat disjointed, but any and all continuity is owed to Mowafi’s spirit and intangible essence – which occasionally jump off of the page to give you a swift backhand.
There’s an enjoyable ambiguity with Mowafi’s instinctive writing; one which makes you want to read more. From a storytelling perspective, though, Mowafi is a victim of her own unpretentious outlook on life. Despite a few hairy moments, the overriding arc of Mowafi’s gradual march to wifehood isn’t the car-crash one would demand of a power-house businesswoman and socialite. But that’s ok, because this is actually where the strengths of Fe-Mail 2 lay. This is no self-help book; Mowafi isn’t trying to make the world a better place and she manages to avoid preaching, maintaining a sincere tone throughout.
Any form of art and literature is often perceived to be best when its receiver can relate to it; this is a highly simplified take on cultural consumption and a book like Fe-Mail 2 proves as such. There’s a pleasing balance of familiarity and phantasm in Mowafi’s writing that pulls you into her view of the world without shoving it down your throat; she just writes.