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A little about our guest:






Welcome Ms. Saadawi.

Question 1: Your family was relatively traditional, you were "circumcised" at the age of six, and somewhat progressive, your father insisted that all of his children be educated. You’ve been quoted as saying that your mother had a profound effect on you and that you felt that she was a "potential revolutionary whose ambition was buried in her marriage." Let’s begin with the idea of Islamic fundamentalism, a "spirited bunch" who have done their best to bring woman down via torture and threats. Do you think that your progressive father had a profound influence on you? And more specifically when you discuss the issue of "over" religion who is your influence there?

** Sylvia discuss the ideas present in that printout on circumcisions.

Question 2: Despite the limitations imposed on you by both religious and colonial oppression on rural women, You were able to attend the University of Cairo and graduated in 1955 with a degree in psychiatry. After completing your education, You practiced psychiatry and eventually rose to become Egypt's Director of Public Health. You met your husband, Sherif Hetata, also a doctor, while working in the Ministry of Health, where the two of you shared an office. Hetata’s leftist views, led him to be imprisoned for 13 years for his participation in a left-wing opposition party. In your book you have several characters which could signify this oppressive behavior in Egypt, one in particular was the Mayor. Tell a little about why you made the women around him so strong, and yet the people so weak? Also please tell us about the relative view of God that you emphasize in "God dies by the Nile?"


Question 4: You began writing 25 years ago, have written 27 books all concentrating on woman, particularly Arab woman, their sexuality and legal status. Your writings have been considered controversial and dangerous for the society, and were banished in Egypt. As a result, you were forced to publish your works in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1972, Your first work of non-fiction, "Women and Sex," which as the title suggests, dealt with the highly taboo subject of women and sexuality, and also the sensitive subjects of politics and religion. This publication evoked the anger of highly placed political and theological authorities, and the Ministry of Health was pressured into dismissing you. Under similar pressures you lost your post as Chief Editor of a health journal and as Assistant General Secretary in the Medical Association in Egypt.

From 1973 to 1976 you researched women and neurosis in the Ain Shams University's Faculty of Medicine. Your results were published in "Women and Neurosis in Egypt" in1976, which included 20 in-depth case studies of women in prisons and hospitals. This research also inspired my novel "Woman at Point Zero," which was based on a female death row inmate convicted of murdering her husband that she met while conducting the research.

In 1977, you published your most famous work, "The Hidden Face of Eve," which covered a host of topics relative to Arab women such as aggression against female children and female genital mutilation, prostitution, sexual relationships, marriage and divorce and Islamic fundamentalism.

When you came out of prison there were two routes you felt you could take. You could have become one of those slaves to the ruling institution, thereby acquiring security, prosperity, the state prize, and the title of "great writer"; the to mention seeing your picture in the newspapers and on television.

Or you could continue on the difficult path, the one that had led you to prison... Has Danger always been a part of your life ever since you picked up a pen and wrote? That nothing is more perilous than truth in a world that lies. That nothing is more perilous than knowledge in a world that has considered knowledge a sin since Adam and Eve... Is there no power in the world that can strip your writings away?

That was a nice speech but I would like to discuss my book…..

Question 5: Even after your release from prison, Your life was threatened by those who opposed your work, mainly Islamic fundamentalists, and armed guards were stationed outside your house in Giza for several years until you left the country to be a visiting professor at North American Universities. You have been a resident writer at Duke University's Asian and African Languages Department from 1993-1996. You’ve also taught at Washington State University in Seattle.

More annoyed now, discuss allegories…..

Question 6: I get the picture all you want to do is discuss is necrophilia, abuse of political and religious power, bestiality, and corruption. Is that right? Is this not a religious book?

Question 7: What I’ve your use of repetition on pages 21, and 31. Tell me about your use of this repetitive writing. Does being repetitive give you some sort of driving home a point effect? Let me read to you specifically what I am talking about…

Question 8: Today on cable television there is a show "Sex in the City" that depicts strong independent woman in our society. And discusses how they are sometimes demonized for being strong and independent women. Do you feel that this an accurate portrayal of women in the U.S., in the World -à The Muslims are coming the Muslims are coming…..let’s get out of here………



1.) Islamic Fundamentalism, Muslim -- Nawal El Saadawi Biography Roman

2.) Discussion of Book Silvia

a.) Discuss the sex acts.

3.) Repetition 21, 31 Roman

4.) Mayor’s Wife + Mayor’s wife, the Mayor is not perfect Silvia

5.) Sex in the City, relate them to the strong women in the Mayor’s wife Roman

6.) Read some of the Allegories Roman + Silvia

a.) P. 13 Silvia

b.) P. 98

c.) P. 106

Nawal El Saadawi



Discussion of Book






Mayor’s Wife, and that the Mayor, God is not perfect.



Sex in the City



Read some of the Allegories


Roman + Silvia


a.) P.13



b.) P.98



c.) P.106



d.) P.138