Segments in this Video

Nawal El Saadawi (05:26)


Saadawi remembers the Salafis and Muslim brothers working in conjunction with the government to punish her. The writer and doctor returns to Kafr Tahla to see a girl's library.

Saadawi's Influence (04:39)

Men, women, and bad leaders respect Saadawi. Gihan Abou Zeid discusses how Saadawi's books made her question gender stereotypes in Egypt. Hear an excerpt from an autobiography.

Islamic Influence (04:53)

The Quran explains how Allah devoted two surahs to women. Hear a passage from the "A Daughter of Isis." Many men believe a woman's status is lower than a man's, despite religious texts honoring women.

Saadawi's Childhood (05:09)

All girls are circumcised before they menstruate. Saadawi recalls four women mutilating her genitalia and compares her upbringing to her brother's. The government in Banha sends the children's library books by Taha Hussein, Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Idris, Edward Said, and Youssef El Sibai.

Education (02:57)

Hear a passage from "Daughter of Isis." The groom strikes his bride Zeinab Abdel Halim El Saadawi at the wedding. Zeinab wishes she could become a doctor and remain in the city.

Saadawi's Marriage (03:31)

Saadawi's family pressures her to marry a cousin named Afifi. In Egyptian culture, a woman becomes an old maid at 30. Saadawi enters medical school at Fouad Al-Awal University in Giza.

Revolution and Independence (03:58)

After the abolition of the monarchy, Saadawi returns to Kafr Tahla to treat the local community. She visits the facility where she once practiced medicine.

Government Trouble (03:11)

Saadawi diagnoses Masouda with a mental disorder and recommends separation from her husband. Police force the woman to return to her husband; she is found dead a week later. The Minister of Interior writes how Saadawi is inciting women to rebel against Islamic laws.

Male Dominance (03:29)

A woman receives a beating from her husband every time she has a fit. Many women live with men who regularly abuse them and will not give them money.

Author and Political Prisoner (05:27)

Writing becomes a refuge for Saadawi. Dr. Awatif Mohamed Abdel Rahman returns to Egypt and is arrested for conspiring against the nation. Fathiyya-the-Murderess receives a life sentence for killing her husband after he raped their nine-year-old daughter.

Prison Release (04:59)

Anwar Sadat becomes the victim of an assassination. Saadawi begins receiving death threats and is forced to leave. Egyptian policies discriminate against women.

Egyptian Revolution (06:23)

The most important revolution occurs in the brain. Saadawi returns to Egypt to speak before Parliament about equality. Democracy is not a decision, but a way of life.

Credits: The Free Voice of Egypt (00:40)

Credits: The Free Voice of Egypt

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Nawal El Saadawi is well-known the world over as a writer and feminist. A champion of women, her writing opposes violence against women, sexual oppression, and poverty. This documentary charts the most important stages in the life of this extraordinary woman, who risked her life for her convictions more than once. Nawal El Saadawi’s biography encompasses more than eight decades of contemporary Egyptian history as experienced from a female perspective.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL215193

ISBN: 978-1-63722-148-8

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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