Secular Feminist Challenges Religious State, Makes Symbolic Bid for Presidency

January 19, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: Reuters

On January 19, 2005 Reuters reported, "An Egyptian feminist writer and teacher forced into exile by Islamic militant death threats for half the 1990s says state suppression of secular thinkers means she still has to go abroad to work. Nawal El Saadawi, who is making a symbolic bid for the presidency this year, says she is not allowed to speak on state television, write in state newspapers or teach in state universities. 'I teach the relationship between creativity and dissidence. They do not allow it in Egypt. The word dissidence is very frightening,' said 74-year-old Saadawi. The novelist, who left Egypt in 1992 for five years because of the death threats, now teaches at universities in the United States and Spain and returns to Cairo for part of the year. 'I'm still living in exile because I cannot speak, I cannot work, I cannot have my potential here,' she said."

See also: Islam, International