The images of women in chadors or burqas as contrasted with images of belly dancers which circulate today as representations of Muslim/Middle Eastern women do not fluctuate from the images propagated by Orientalist paintings and colonial photographs which also offer contrasting representations of the veiled thus secluded and the naked or semi-naked thus eroticised Muslim/Oriental woman.
As well as challenging the prevailing stereotypes of the Middle Eastern and North African women, the book aims to highlight the element of diversity which characterises the lives of these women and the regions to which they belong. The sense that most of the Middle Eastern and North African countries are Muslim does confer a common identity, a distinction from others that may serve to bridge wide social, cultural, and economic differences among them. However, it is also important to stress that significant elements other than Islam contribute to the making of MENA societies and women’s cultural identities.
This book was published as a special issue of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Gender and Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa Zahia Smail Salhi 2. Masculinity in Crisis: The Case of Palestinians in Israel Amalia Sa’ar and Taghreed Yahia-Younis 3. The Central Role of the Family Law in the Moroccan Feminist Movement Fatima Sadiqi 4. Steps to the Integration of Moroccan Women in Development Moha Ennaji 5. Gender Equality in Tunisia Amel Grami 6. Party Politics of the AKP (2002 – 2007) and the Predicaments of Women at the Intersection of the Westernist, Islamist and Feminist Discourses in Turkey Ayse Gunes Ayata and Fatma Tutuncu 7. Women and Media in Saudi Arabia: Rhetoric, Reductionism and Realities Naomi Sakr 8. Iraqi Women and Gender Relations: Redefining Difference Nadje Al-Ali 9. The Discursive Occupation of Afghanistan Anila Daulatzai 10. Gender, Citizenship and Political Agency in Lebanon Lina Khatib 11. Gender and Violence in Algeria: Women’s Resistance against the Islamist Femicide Zahia Smail Salhi
Zahia Smail Salhi is Professor of Modern Arabic Studies, at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester.