Arab Women Writers – An Introduction
Lecture 1 – (Sept 18, 2011)
➢ Article #2
Asense of inferiority due to colonialism – not good to be anArab
➢ Article #1 (ByAmalAmireh)
Overview of the problems faced by women writers
➢ History ofArab women writers date back long before the 19 century.
Al-Khansa (7 century poet)
One of the most successful poets in 3 Islamic periods - 6th/7 century
Wrote about her brothers who passed away during war (elegies)
Wrote about family, romantic love.
After converting to Islan, she wrote poems about Islam and the prophet – poetry was
extremely important at this time
She was a very independent woman, travelled, never married.
Did not conform to the traditional Arab women's role.
Rabia-AlAdawiya (7 century)
Was a beautiful entertainer for royalty.
After converting to Islam, she started writing poetry (mystic, spiritual, etc).
Shahrazad (10 )th
One Thousand and One Nights
Originally an Indian story. Aman is betrayed by his wife and then sets out on a killing spree
to get rid of virgin women after sleeping with them\
Shahrazad was seductive through her way of storytelling and manages to change the king's
mind about women.
Walladah (11 )h
Princess had relationships with the men she loved and this was unusual at that time.
Wrote explicit literature about her sexuality and love interests.
Wrote poetry on her sleeves to carry with her at all times
Mayy Ziyadah (19 )
Arich Egyptian, only child, wrote a lot of poetry & diaries.
One of the first ofArab writers to write autobiographies
Encouraged a lot of novice writers at that time but sadly died in an asylum while suffering
➢ 1) Issue of Representation
If we read one story, do we automatically assume it's the story of allArab women?
Just cause oneArab male is bad, does it mean all o