Book Talk: Arab Women’s Activism and Socio-Political Transformation


May 17, 2018 – 06:00 PM

3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 Map

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Amel Mili, PhD, assistant teaching professor at Drexel University, and Sahar Khamis, PhD, associate professor at the University of Maryland


About the book:
This book illustrates how Arab women have been engaging in three ongoing, parallel struggles, before, during, and after the Arab Spring, on three levels, namely: the political struggle to pave the road for democracy, freedom, and reform; the social struggle to achieve gender equality and fight all forms of injustice and discrimination against women; and the legal struggle to chart new laws which can safeguard both the political and the social gains. The contributors argue that while the political upheavals were oftentimes more prevalent and visible, they should not overshadow the parallel social and legal revolutions which are equally important, due to their long-term impacts on the region. The chapters shed light on the intersections, overlaps and divergences between these simultaneous, continuous gendered struggles and unpacks their complexities and multiple implications, locally, regionally, and internationally, across different countries and through different phases.

Book review:
"Subjected to prolonged and degenerative colonial and patriarchal gaze, the very idea of an "Arab woman" has been made synonymous with gendered submission and sexual fantasies. In this book, two brilliant scholars have collected a constellation of bold and path-breaking essays to right that wrong.  In the unfolding pages of these exhilarating chapters, we are witness to the defiant presence of Arab women (in the pluralities of their characters and cultures) in the streets and squares of their histories, from institutions of higher learning to the nobility of their daily struggles.  No reader will leave these pages radically unaltered as to who and what Arab women are today. A tour de force – a bravura of cutting-edge critical thinking.” (Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, USA)

Sponsored by The Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the book talk, please contact Jacqueline Rios at

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