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Journal of Middle East Women's Studies
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.304
Number of Followers: 19  
 
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ISSN (Print) 1552-5864 - ISSN (Online) 1558-9579
Published by Duke University Press Homepage  [20 journals]
  • Gendered Struggles over the Medical Profession in the Modern Middle East
           and North Africa

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      Abstract: The present theme issue speaks to two bodies of scholarship: the history of medicine in the Middle East and the history of women in the medical profession. Historians of the professionalization of medicine in colonized societies have mostly focused on male practitioners and their place in the national middle class (e.g., Lo 2002; Patton 1996). The Middle East is no exception. Histories of the medical profession in the Middle East have addressed medical schools, study missions to Europe, and the production of male physicians. They have also studied these men's employment in national or colonial public health systems, their unionization, and their intellectual production. University-trained medical professionals in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Female Imperial Agent and the Intricacies of Power: British Nurses in
           Mandate Palestine

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      Abstract: On July 31, 1926, a scandalous incident occurred at the Government Mental Hospital in Bethlehem when the British matron, Miss Dora Louise Whitaker, following a fierce dispute, locked an Arab nurse in a cell reserved for maniacal patients. As soon as the physician in charge arrived, he immediately suspended Whitaker, and later she was charged with misconduct. Though a governmental court of inquiry exonerated her, mandate authorities eventually dismissed her, and Whitaker, remaining in Palestine, lived a pauper's life that ended tragically. The incident and its aftermath spotlight two figures: the anonymous victimized Arab nurse and the British matron, a marginal figure in the history of colonial medicine in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Nursing (Inter)nationalism in Iran, 1916–1947

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      Abstract: In 1966 Iran issued a postage stamp to celebrate Nurses' Day (fig. 1). It featured a student nurse wearing a cap and pinafore and holding a candle—reminiscent of Florence Nightingale and her lamp—and taking an oath. The stamp presented the trained nurse as a symbol of progress and modernity in Iran. Almost twenty years later the Islamic Republic issued two new stamps that showcased nurses' heroic work caring for soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War (Afshar 2010). These later stamps connected nursing to an Islamic history of female caregiving, rather than the modern professionalism of Nightingale. Whether they were issued before or after the revolution, these stamps honored nurses' contributions to the nation. The ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Women Doctors and the Medical Profession in Iraq during the First Half of
           the Twentieth Century

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      Abstract: In 1947 Harry Sinderson, who spent nearly three decades in Iraq as a medical health officer and serviced the British embassy and the Hashemite monarchy while administering the local medical college, commented on the health problems facing the Middle East. Sinderson (1947) stressed that one of the most pressing issues impeding public health was that "gynaecological diseases are extremely common. . . . Frequent childbirth, devoid of skilled attention, with no pre-natal or post-natal care, is . . . the main reason for this unhappy state of affairs." These problems were caused by "women doctors [who] have not in my experience provided the solution one had hoped for." As one of the leading medical officials in Iraq ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "Why Don't You Go to Nursing School'": Hebrew University Medical
           School as a Gendered Experience, 1950–1970

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      Abstract: We first heard of the quota for women at Hebrew University Medical School from Goldie, our first interviewee. Our preliminary archival work had not prepared us for such a statement. A senior student, she said, ran into her following her admission interview and told her to lower her expectations, since there was numerus clausus for women.1 When we asked Judith, another interviewee, why she believed there was such a quota for women, she answered: "I looked around, and I counted."2This article examines Hebrew University Medical School's gender policies from its foundation in 1949 until the late 1960s and their impact on female medical students. We argue, first, that the women's ratio at Hebrew University Medical ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Orientalism without Power' Chinese Female Ob-Gyns in Rural Algeria and
           Morocco in the Post-Mao Era

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      Abstract: Unfolding in front of our eyes, Algerian women have proven to have strong desires for and abilities of fertility. . . . As ob-gyns, we have come to empathize with these Arab women who have given birth successively. We understand that they are responsible for carrying on the bloodline and ethnic continuity in their families and marriages. Still, whenever a woman comes to deliver her eighth, ninth, or even tenth child, or whenever we are about to perform a fourth, fifth, or even sixth cesarean section on a woman, an aching sense of dismay inevitably arises in our hearts.The above comment manifests a trope that characterizes Chinese female medical professionals' understanding of Algeria's reproductive culture—that its ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation by
           Zahra Ali (review)

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      Abstract: Women and Gender in Iraq is an obligatory read for understanding Iraq's current wave of civil unrest. Yet, if one is to argue that Zahra Ali roots her book on women and gender studies, its readership certainly trespasses feminist traditional audiences. Her research informs political scientists, economists, humanitarian and development practitioners, and local and international activists of the centrality of gender in women's lives but also, fundamentally, Iraqi politics and nation-building processes. Ali's unique contribution is to fill the gap in and take issue against research and disciplines that have long relegated the women or gender question to a lesser analytic category or that have simplified and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Everyday Makings of Heteronormativity: Cross-Cultural Explorations of
           Sex, Gender, and Sexuality ed. by Sertaç Sehlikoglu and Frank G. Karioris
           (review)

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      Abstract: One of the most pertinent analytic and practical questions of our time appears again to be formed as a problematization of being attached to, while still resisting, the cruel allure of heteronormativity. How can one escape (re)producing toxic norms, which are part and parcel of a heterosexual culture, without acknowledging that these are attached to elicited promises of obtaining privileges necessary not only for survival but also for all those material, affective, and bodily desires integral to securing safety, comfort, love, and happiness, that is, a "good" life' The unavoidable fantasy of making "it," even when (purposely or not) failing in "it," appears to me to be the inescapable focus of all the articles in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Under the Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and
           North Africa Today ed. by Ceren Özpinar and Mary Kelly (review)

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      Abstract: The beginning of the twenty-first century has seen a kindling of global interest in contemporary art created by women from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as evident in the rising number of high-profile art exhibitions prominently featuring their art in American and European museums. Salah Hassan (2009:8) attributes this new fascination to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, citing a surge of attention to the region's art following the violent events. Media Farzin (2014) marks the Arab Spring (2009–12) as the end of the "Great Middle Eastern Art Rush."1 The series of protests shifted the centers of artistic activity from Western venues to exhibitions held in MENA countries, signifying the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Cover Art Concept

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      Abstract: Gazbia Sirry is one of Egypt's most important modern artists. She was born in 1925 in Cairo, where she lived and worked until her death on November 10, 2021. In 1950 she graduated from the Higher Institute of Art Education for Women Teachers in Cairo, today known as the College of Arts Education (kulliyyat al-tarbiya al-fanniyya). Afterward she traveled to Paris, Rome, and London to further her studies. She is known for her richly colored canvases that she made over seven decades. In the Classroom, on the cover of this issue, was painted in the early 1950s, when Sirry focused her figurative style on depicting Egyptian women of all social classes. Instead of the anonymous female peasant symbol of Egypt, prevalent in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Introduction

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      Abstract: The Arab world's leading feminist activist and writer, Nawal El Saadawi, died on Sunday, March 21, 2021. She was eighty-nine. Many events happened around the world to commemorate her life and work. Some consisted of poetic eulogies that emphasized Nawal's extraordinary contributions to the rule of justice in an unjust world; others criticized her for not being sufficiently feminist or academic or whatever they wanted her to have been. During a June 2 Hiwar Mutamaddin television panel, Hind Ahmad Zaki put her finger on the problem. Nawal could not be pigeonholed; she was not just a socialist, communist, liberal, decolonial, anti-imperialist feminist; she was all of them wrapped into one; she was an organic ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Daughter of Isis at Duke University

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      Abstract: When I heard the news that Sunday morning in late March, I had the same reaction that many expressed: bereavement. I lost my mentor, my friend, the woman who for more than half my life had inspired me to walk through fire.My next reaction was a sense of blessing. The blessing is that she is finally released from the terrible physical suffering that tortured her body for the last two years. She is no longer anguished about her physical inability to finish the last volume of her autobiography. She is no longer frustrated that she cannot respond to the many invitations she still received from around the world. Nawal loved to speak to new audiences and to inspire them with her transformative message. While she was at ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • March 28, 2021: Brief Reflections in a Moment of Loss

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      Abstract: The first time I met Nawal—at least I think it was the first time—was at a women's studies conference here in the United States sometime in the early 1980s. All I remember about that conference today was a conversation between Nawal and the woman who had invited her there, a conversation that, for some reason, I was party to. In the course of it, Nawal's host—I'll call her Ms. A.—was telling Nawal that she was not to speak about such and such issues. Nawal's instant response was astonished outrage. 'You're telling me, Nawal El Saadawi," she said, "what I can and cannot speak about'" This, obviously, was absurd, given that Nawal was famous for having gone to prison for saying and writing exactly what she thought. I ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Remembering Nawal El Saadawi

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      Abstract: At exactly 21:15 Beijing time on March 21, 2021, my PhD adviser, Professor Xue of Beijing Foreign Studies University, sent me a text message that Nawal El Saadawi had died. Several other scholars sent their condolences. Why me' I thought. It was because I had written the first PhD dissertation in China on Nawal's works; I was the first Chinese reader to knock on the door of her Cairo apartment; and I had planned her 2014 tour of Beijing.In the early 2010s, my choice of Nawal El Saadawi as a dissertation topic raised eyebrows. Some senior scholars deplored my choice, because they saw in Nawal an attention seeker playing to the gallery. Others were genuinely concerned, sensing that this inexperienced student might ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Much-Needed Voice of Resistance

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      Abstract: It gives me great pleasure to honor Nawal El Saadawi, who has been such an inspiration and a role model in my life. My awareness of the numerous challenges that Arab women face grew from Nawal's prolific work.I had left my country of birth—Lebanon—to escape the plight of my Arab sisters and to find out who I was away from the restrictions I had experienced as an adolescent. It was in the United States that I discovered Simone de Beauvoir, who opened my eyes to the plight of women all over the world. She inspired me to commit my research and writing to women's issues and more specifically to Arab women's problems. But it was Nawal El Saadawi who forced me to examine my own dilemmas and concerns. She was writing ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • From The Hidden Face of Eve to AWSA Activism to Tahrir

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      Abstract: I came to know Nawal El Saadawi through The Hidden Face of Eve, published in London in 1980. It was a translation of Al-wajh al-ʿari lil-marʾ a al-ʿarabiyya, published in Beirut in 1977. I was mesmerized by how she combined personal experience—breaking the silence around sexuality and the female body—with historical accounts of outspoken, independent-minded Arab and Muslim women from the early days of Islam to first-wave feminism of the twentieth century.Nawal the physician had already spoken the language of feminism in fiction and autobiography. In 1972 she had exposed often-hidden sexual injuries and injustices in her book Al-marʾa wa al-jins (Woman and Sex). With The Hidden Face of Eve she issued a rallying cry ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Tribute

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      Abstract: I met Nawal in the late 1970s, when I began compiling my third anthology Sisterhood Is Global. Since Hoda Shaarawi and Inji Efflatoun (not to speak of Hatshepsut) had long departed, clearly the person to write the piece on Egypt was Nawal El Saadawi. She agreed, drafted the essay, gave it to her typist—and the next day was arrested by Anwar Sadat. Afraid that her typist would be implicated by being in possession of this "incendiary" article on women's rights, Nawal got a message to the typist to destroy the manuscript—the only copy. I learned this and then despaired on two counts, since I was very worried about her being in custody. My friend and colleague Gloria Steinem had recently been in Egypt as a tourist ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Word from the President

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      Abstract: The Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) is honored to cosponsor and participate in a celebration of the life and work of Nawal El Saadawi, who died on March 21, 2021, at the age of eighty-nine.El Saadawi's life and legacy are at the heart of what AMEWS stands for. Whether writing about medicine or women-related issues in politics, religion, and sexuality, El Saadawi had addressed topics central to the AMEWS mission since the organization's inception in 1985.Generations of AMEWS members have been inspired by El Saadawi's life and writings. She broke taboos and linked the liberation of women with the political and cultural liberation of the nation—topics that so many AMEWS members wrote about and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • La Vie en Rouge

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      Abstract: I met her through her writing, so powerful and impassioned a plea for truth and justice that I had not come across before. I was thrilled by the intimacy of her thoughts, marveling at her unflinching depiction of female oppression in a society dominated by corrupt men. She also powerfully delineated the subversive space inhabited by her heroines, such as Firdaus. Where had I seen those eyes before' How did I know that pain and passion' Why did the world of Woman at Point Zero feel like a familiar yet strangely distant dream' My world was not that world, after all. I was born into a middle-class, urban, educated Pakistani Muslim family—a far cry from a women's prison in Egypt.My quest for answers led me, several ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • What I Will Never Forget

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      Abstract: As I remember it, it was some time, some day in March 1993 that a lecture by Nawal El Saadawi was announced that I knew I would not miss. Though I did not know Nawal El Saadawi personally, I knew enough about her to make the lecture the priority of that day. And so I went. I remember Nawal sitting there while she was introduced. I was mesmerized by her presence, just sitting there, brown skin, white hair, and that I-do-not-know-what that people in the audience have felt just by being there. I could feel that something special was taking place.The introduction ended; Nawal stood up, looked at the audience, and walked toward the blackboard. She drew a large triangle. On the upper vertex of the triangle she wrote God; ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • In Memory of a Woman Doctor: Nawal El Saadawi

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      Abstract: Nawal El Saadawi was trained as a medical doctor, taking her place alongside two other doctor revolutionaries from the global South, Che Guevara and Frantz Fanon—that most human, most distinguished band of revolutionaries. Although happily she lived much longer than either Guevara or Fanon, her radical politics never subsided or eased off even up to her last days: in that, she was also the best kind of revolutionary.There is also something in the texture of her writing that reminds me of Fanon. Reading it, you feel that it is always written through the body: there is a physical, phenomenological, processual form of corporeal thinking and experiencing, made up of objective descriptions of individualized, specific ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Nawal and Sherif Tribute

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      Abstract: If one word could etch and evoke Nawal, it would be SMILE, all caps, all-pervasive. She never ceased to find joy even amid pain, injustice, alienation, and, for her worst of all, indifference to the suffering of others. Her life redefined compassion as the benchmark of humanity, and she projected that value through her writing, speaking, and protesting but also her teaching and mentoring of others."Bruuuuce," she would often exclaim to me, elongating my name with her daunting smile, "Bruuuuce, I don't teach what I know, I teach only what I have lived." I have numerous impressions of her in the classroom, but one is especially vivid and true to the élan of this woman whose zestful spirit was at once outrageous and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Feminist Ethos of Point Zero

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      Abstract: Nawal El Saadawi—writer, physician, psychiatrist, controversial feminist activist—has been one of the most famous, indeed infamous, feminists in the world. From her psychiatric practice to her fiction, she created an ethic of protest based on conversation between and among women. She never stopped protesting, taking to the streets in 2011 at the age of seventy-nine to join protesters in Tahrir Square. In her memoirs, but also in her fiction, that life of protest emerges. Some of it is overtly based in biography, some not—such that a novel like Woman at Point Zero presents the familiar frame trope of storytelling between women as a shield against the threat of the murderous arm of the state, as a psychiatrist ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-03-26T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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