Opening the Gates, Second Edition

Opening the Gates, Second Edition

An Anthology of Arab Feminist Writing
Margot Badran and Miriam Cooke
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/21/2004
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21703-5
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2005 AAUP Public & Secondary School LibrarySelection

Praise for the first edition:

An impressive collection of more than 50 pieces—essays, poems, folktales, short stories, memoirs, film scripts, lectures/speeches—by Arab women challenging the widely accepted view of Middle Eastern women as submissive non-thinkers to whom feminism is a foreign concept." —Booklist

Anyone interested in good writing should read [Opening the Gates]. Here are first-class stories with the energy and freshness we expect from a beginning." —Doris Lessing, The Independent

This collection of stories, speeches, essays, poems and memoirs bears fierce testimony to a tradition of brave Arab feminist writing in the face of subjugation by a Muslim patriarchy."—Publishers Weekly

This impressive collection of writings by Arab women... represent[s] a powerful series of vignettes by women who were both insightful and gifted, into the lives of women who have lived 'behind the veil' over the last 100 years."—Arab Book World

An expression of indigenous, intrepid feminism in the Arab world."—Ms.

Opening the Gates succeeds not because of its methodology, but because of the stories the women tell."—Voice Literary Supplement

Author Bio

Margot Badran is Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor of Religion and Preceptor at the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa at Northwestern University. Her books include Feminists, Islam, and Nation: Gender and the Making of Modern Egypt, as well as Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist: Huda Shaarawi, which she translated, edited, and introduced. Her permanent residence is in Cairo, Egypt.

miriam cooke is Professor of Arabic Literature and Culture and Chair of the Department of Asian and African Languages and Literature at Duke University. Among her publications are War’s Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War; Women and the War Story; Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature; and a novel, Hayati, My Life. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.


“As a result, reading this book is a must for anyone interested in feminist studies or gender issues in general, whether a scholar or a member of a broader audience. The book is also very timely as it highlights a new stage in the development of feminisms in Arab societies, and it gets us past divisive or degrading stereotypes that freeze off genuine communication and allow a more positive and accurate image to be built.”
 — Ahram Weekly online

“. . .On finishing this book—the reader can only feel grateful to the editors who have offered her or him this wonderful chance to discover many silenced and veiled voices and who have opened the gates to so many unknown territories. The various texts document the movement of feminisms in the Arab world, proving wrong the common fallacy that Arab women lack awareness of their own rights, and that they have therefore been necessarily influenced and initiated into action by western feminists. This influence, though not denied here, is not exaggerated either. ”

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Table of Contents

[to come]