Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Regarding rulers, from Woman At Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi (Zed Books, p. 27):
What they had in common was an avaricious and distorted personlaity, a never-ending appetite for money, sex and unlimited power. They were men who sowed corruption on the earth, and plundered their peoples, men endowed with loud voices, a capacity for persuasion, for choosing sweet words and shooting poisoned arrows. Thus, the truth about them was revealed only after their death, and as a result I discovered that history tended to repeat itself with a foolish obstinacy.
While reading this book, the paragraph above just stuck out.

I'm afraid I don't know much about El Saadawi but it sure looks like I've been missing out. Here is her bio.
Nawal El Saadawi is a novelist, a psychiatrist and a writer who is well known both in the Arab countries and in many other parts of the world. Her novels and her books on the situation of women in Egyptian and Arab society have had a deep effect on successive generations of young women over the last three decades.

As a result of her literary and scientific writings she has had to face numerous difficulties and even dangers in her life. In 1972 she lost her job in the Egyptian government. The magazine, Health, which she had founded and editted for more than three years was closed down. In 1981 President Sadat put her in prison. She was released one month after his assassination.

Today her name figures on the one of the death lists issued by some fanatical terrorist organizations. This list was also publicized in a neighboring Arab country and in cassettes which are widely distributed all over the country.

On June 15, 1991, the government issued a decree which closed down the Arab Women's Solidarity Association over which she presides and hand over its funds to the Association called Women in Islam. Six months before this decree the government closed down the magazine, Noon, published by the Association. She was Editor in Chief of this Magazine.
I recommend her book Woman at Point Zero.