Time of the Writer



Poetry Africa

Nawal-el-Saadawi-EgyptEgyptian writer, psychiatrist and activist, Nawal El Saadawi is widely acclaimed in Arab countries and in many other parts of the world for her outspoken views. Her writings exploring the situation of women in Egyptian and Arab societies have had a deep effect on successive generations of women over the last three decades. Her prolific works have been translated into over 30 languages worldwide, and are taught in many university colleges in different countries. As a result of her writings she has had to face numerous difficulties and dangers in her life. In 1972 she lost her job as Director General of the Health Education Department in the Egyptian government as a direct result of her political stance. The magazine, Health, which she had founded and edited for more than three years was closed down in 1974. In 1981 she was imprisoned by the government of President Sadat, and released one month after his assassination. In 199, the government closed down the magazine,Noon, published by The Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, over which she presides and was also Editor in Chief. Six months later, the government issued a decree which closed down the Association and handed its funds over to an association called Women in Islam. In 2004 Al Azhar in Cairo banned her novel, The Fall of the Imam.


Nawal El Saadawi has been awarded several national and international literary prizes, and has lectured in many universities and participated in many international and national conferences. She has received Honorary Doctorates from University of York, United Kingdom (1994), University of Illinois at Chicago (1996), University of St. Andrews-Scotland (1997), and University of Tromso, Norway (2003). Some of her numerous accolades are: Literary Award by the Franco-Arab Friendship Association, Paris, France (1982); Literary Award by the Supreme Council for Arts and Social Sciences, Cairo, Egypt (1974); International Writer of the Year for 2003, nominated by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England; and the Great Minds of the 21st Century Award, American Biographical Institute, North Carolina , USA (2003).


Among her many achievements are, Co–Founder, Arab Association for Human Rights, 1983-1987; Founder Vice-President, African Association for Women on Research Development, Dakar, Senegal, 1977 -1987; Founder, Egyptian Women Writer's Association, 1971; Secretary General of Medical Association, Cairo, Egypt. 1968-1972; and Editor of Medical Association Magazine, 1968-1972.


Nawal El Saadawi recently announced her intention to run for the office of President in the upcoming Egyptian elections.


Select Bibliography 

Memoirs of a Woman Doctor, Cairo, 1958

The Absent One, Cairo, 1969

Two Women in One, Cairo, 1971

Woman at Point Zero, Beirut, 1973

The Death of the Only Man on Earth, Beirut, 1975

The Fall of the Imam, Cairo, 1987

Love in the Kingdom of Oil, Cairo, 1993

Short Stories

A Moment of Truth, Cairo, 1959

Little Tenderness, Cairo, 1960

The Thread and the Wall, Cairo, 1972

She was the Weaker, Beirut, 1977

Death of an Ex-minister, Beirut, 1978

Adab Am Kellat Adab, Cairo, 2000