In conversation: Nawal El Saadawi with Kenan Malik





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Published on Apr 12, 2015

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Fuuse World Woman was the first sister-hood conference celebrating women’s activism and creativity. The event took place in 2015 in Oslo, Norway and was organized by human rights activist and award winning film director Deeyah Khan through her arts and media production company, Fuuse.


Nawal El Saadawi is an internationally renowned writer, novelist, medical doctor and fighter for women rights.

Her writing has influenced five generations of women and men in Egypt, in other Arab speaking countries as well as in many other societies, paving the way for dissidence, rebellion and revolution. For more than four decades she has suffered under Egyptian political and religious authorities , which has led court trials, imprisonment, exile, and death threats.

Nawal el Saadawi trained as a doctor, graduating in 1955 from Cairo University and later becoming Cairo’s Director of Public Health, as well as teaching at many universities worldwide. became politically active while practising medicine, attributing women’s problems to various forms of oppression, a subject covered in many of her novels, plays, short stories and non-fiction, which are all characterised by the same passion and directness she has brought to every aspect of her multi-faceted life.

Nawal has founded or co-founded various associations, including the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association (AWSA) and the Egyptian Women Writer’s Association. Named by The Guardian in 2011 as ‘the leading spokeswoman on the status of women in the Arab world’, in the same year she also received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Women of the Year Awards in London, and was presented with La Federación de Mujeres Progresistas (FMP) [Progressive Women’s Federation (FMP)] in Madrid and The University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award.

Nawal el Saadawi writes in Arabic and lives in Egypt. Her books and novels have been translated into at least forty languages throughout the world.

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