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ENGC51H3 Lecture Notes - Camp David Accords, Infitah

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Maria Assif

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Arab Women Writers
Lecture 3
Historical Background in Egypt in the 70s
Male vs. Female
Genre (Introduction/Foreword)
Woman At Point Zero
Published in English in '81 but originally in the 70s.
Arabic Infitah
Being economically open to the West (and capitalism)
Was a reaction to Marxism – so Egypt felt like it had to be open to the West.
Head of state at the time - 60s/70s (Marxism/Nationalism)
He thought that Egypt had to be involved in wars especially against Isreal (conflict w/ Israel was
based on geography rather than religion). So responsible for war in 1956
Wanted to go back to the era before colonialism
Anuar Sadat
Pro-capitalism, pro-west
In favor of peace w/ Isreal
Camp David – peace treaty (1978)
Encouraged capitalism and tourism
* Belief that with capitalism came dirty money through prostitution which is emphasized in
book (rich man who pulls up in car)
1) Infitah
Huge discrepancy btwn rich and poor – money becomes very important
Infitah brought democracy
*In intro she says pokes fun at infitah saying that it didn't bring along political empowerment -
“many females were put in prison for political views”
2) Islamism
Growth of Islam in Egypt
Killing of Muslim Brothers (Political group that was a threat to Marxism
Now there was freedom to practice Anuar Sadat's political agenda.
Political growth of Islam
3) Gender Issues
Women going to university
Issue of money
Issue of unisex schools – mixing with boys
What to do with this higher education
*In this book, there were those with a university degree who couldn't get jobs.
Close Reading & Analysis of Passaged
Pg. 12 – Circumcision – part of her clitoris was cut off – reason for why she's unable to feel pleasure
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