Arab culture traditionally celebrated sexuality as compatible with elements of the Islamic faith, but what gradually occurred in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world was that sexuality was equated with the "licentiousness" of the imperialists.
El Feki, born in England and raised in Canada by an Egyptian father and Welsh mother, embarks on her subject with healthy doses of humor and irony, offering a selected look at erotic classical Arabic writings that flourished famously during the Abbasid period from the 8th to 10th centuries in Baghdad.
El Feki embarks on her subject with healthy doses of humor and irony. It's all here: matchmaking, diverse forms of marriage ("official," "unofficial," "summer"), anal sex, oral sex, sexual positions, sexual dysfunction, impotence, infertility, domestic violence, virginity (testing, proving, losing, restoring), female genital mutilation, abortion, illegitimacy, sex education, prostitution, "legal sex work," and LGBT issues.
Mandatory reading for anyone seeking to truly know the Middle East.” —Booklist (starred) “A daring new study. N.'s Global Commission on HIV and Law) and the daughter of an Egyptian father.
The Arab Spring has brought the Egyptians in particular to the brink of a sexual revolution not unlike the movement that struck the West 40 years ago, writes journalist El Feki, who is trained in molecular immunology and serves as vice chair of the U. However, Egypt's new order maintains a liberal minority and a conservative majority (e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood), and the push back against sexual liberation, especially as demanded by women, is daunting and unsure.
A daring new study finds the newly liberated Egyptians poised to demand more sexual freedom in the face of religious fundamentalism.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year As the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath sweep streets and squares, parliaments and presidential palaces of the Middle East, Shereen El Feki—an award-winning Canadian-Egyptian journalist—has been looking at unrest a little closer to home: in the sexual lives of Arab men and women. Now, I grant you, sex might seem an odd choice, given the spectacle of popular revolt playing out across the Arab world since the beginning of this decade, which has taken with it some of the region’s most entrenched regimes—in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen for starters—and is shaking up the rest.
Why weren’t Iraqis rushing to embrace this new world order?
Highly personal, rich with original research and remarkable stories, Sex and the Citadel gives us unprecedented and timely insight into a part of the world that is changing before our eyes. In his reflections on the history of the West, the French philosopher Michel Foucault described sexuality as “an especially dense transfer point for relations of power: between men and women, young people and old people, parents and offspring, teachers and students, priests and laity, an administration and a population.” The same is true in the Arab world: if you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.
“A fascinating survey of sex that is rich in detail. Had it not been for the events of September 11, 2001, I might never have opened that door.
This makes me half Egyptian, though most people in the Arab region shake their heads when I tell them this.
To them there is no “half” about it; because my father is wholly Egyptian, so am I. My mother’s family is Christian: her father was a Baptist lay preacher, and her brother, in a leap of Anglican upward mobility, became a vicar in the Church of Wales.
For my mother, becoming Muslim was a matter of conviction, not coercion.