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By Nawal El Saadawi

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This is the 1st quantity of the autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, giving an emotionally shattering, yet splendidly lyrical, portrait of her early life in a distant Egyptian village -- the youth that produced the liberty fighter. She describes vividly the tradition of where and time into which she used to be born and in addition her intuitive -- and encouraging -- wish to go beyond the constraints compelled upon her due to her gender. From the very begin, escaping the take hold of of attainable marriage on the age of ten, we see how she moulded her personal inventive strength right into a weapon and the way using phrases grew to become an act of uprising opposed to injustice, top first to her profession as a physician and finally to her iconic prestige as a novelist and political activist.

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Extra resources for A Daughter of Isis: The Early Life of Nawal El Saadawi: The Autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi

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Misr: Egypt, but here it meant Cairo.  A worm which lives in the intestinal or urinary tract vessels and causes bleeding, among other symptoms. Very common in Egypt at that time, especially among the rural population. ** Bey: a title given by the king to notables. Mabrouka: Sittil Hajja’s first name. Al‑Hussein and Al-Shafei: holy men (saints). Zaynab: wife of the Prophet Muhammad. Mariam: the Virgin Mary. †† A higher title given to members of the upper ruling class by the king. 38 A Daughter of Isis The voice of Sittil Hajja echoes in my ears despite the passing of the years.

My eyes seek their colour like dry soil seeks water. The sun comes through my window as I sit writing. Two years have gone by in this remote place almost ten thousand miles from Egypt, where Duke Forest is part of the university in this small village-like town called Durham in North Carolina, on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I raise my head bent over the paper, put down my pen for a moment. Why am I writing this autobiography? Is it a longing for my past life? Is my life over, or is there something of it left?

On my desk lies a white envelope with my name written on it: ‘Dr El‑Saadawi, Visiting Professor, Duke University’. The name ‘Duke’ rings strange in my ears like that of Al‑Saadawi. Who was God Above, Husband Below 33 ‘Duke’? A millionaire from North Carolina. Just before dying, he suddenly discovered he could not take his money with him to the grave, so he thought why not leave his name on a wall, or at the bottom of a statue? Why not pay whatever sum of money was required to ensure that his name would not be buried forever with him?

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