As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an upheaval a little closer to home—in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful, and engaging account of a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society.
Sex is entwined in religion, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate over its future.
This is no peep show or academic treatise but a highly personal and often humorous account of one woman’s journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate and, in the process, to better understand her own origins. Rich with five years of groundbreaking research, Sex and the Citadel gives us a unique and timely understanding of everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing before our eyes.- Amazon
Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World by Shereen El Feki. Shereen El Feki is a writer, broadcaster, and academic who started her professional life in medical science before going on to become an award-winning journalist with The Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She is the former vice-chair of the UN's Global Commission on HIV and the Law, as well as a TED Global Fellow. Shereen writes for a number of publications, among them The Huffington Post. With roots in Egypt and Wales, Shereen grew up in Canada; she now divides her time between London and Cairo. "Sex and the Citadel" is her first book. Learn more at www.sexandthecitadel.com
“A principled book, robustly educative and illuminating without consenting to the kind of vacant voyeurism that the intimate life veiled by Islam can provoke in unthinking outsiders.” —The Times Higher Education Supplement
“A bold, meticulously researched mini Kinsey Report, rich in anecdote and statistics. . . . Islam and faith are not incompatible with a healthier, more liberal attitude to sex, but rather an exciting component of the revolutions now taking shape.” —The Spectator.
“Fascinating. . . . Fearless. . . . An impressively researched work of sociology.” —The Santa Fe New Mexican “A riveting read, bound to provide interesting, if inappropriate, dinner table conversation for some time to come.” —The Daily Star (Lebanon)
“[A] tour de force on Arab life. . . . Mandatory reading for anyone seeking to truly know the Middle East.” —Booklist (starred)
“A daring new study. El Feki embarks on her subject with healthy doses of humor and irony. . . . A surprisingly open, extremely timely examination of the sexual coming-of-age of Egyptian youth.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred) “A clear wakeup call.” —Publishers Weekly
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