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Nawal El Saadawi in Conversation

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Join us for a conversation with Nawal El Saadawi, one of the greatest writers to come out of the Arab world, as she discusses her life and writing.

Born in a small Egyptian village in 1931, El Saadawi has shown an incredible ability to create new worlds in the fight against oppression. In the face of censorship, imprisonment and exile, she has refused to accept the oppressions imposed on women by gender and class.

El Saadawi’s remarkable life story starts with the childhood that produced the freedom fighter: from the trauma of female genital mutilation at seven years old to eluding the grasp of suitors at the age of ten.

Later, as a young adult qualifying as doctor, she moulded her own creative power into a weapon. A rural doctor and an activist for female empowerment, El Saadawi challenged the authorities that tried to obstruct her and was imprisoned and later exiled.

She is also a prolific writer of novels, memoirs, plays, non-fiction work, and short stories.

‘I think her life has been one long death threat. At a time when nobody else was talking, she spoke the unspeakable.’
Margaret Atwood, BBC Imagine

Chaired by Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British Egyptian playwright, poet and screenwriter. She was awarded the 2014 Fringe First Award for her play Chef and her first play, Dry Ice, was directed by David Schwimmer. Her poetry has been performed and produced for TV, radio and film, including in the Railway Nation: A Journey in Verse on BBC2. Mahfouz has an essay in the award-winning The Good Immigrant, has published eight works of drama with Bloomsbury and is the editor of the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, which was longlisted for the Grand Prix Literary Associations Prize.

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where

Queen Elizabeth Hall

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Age recommendation
For ages 16+.