You can check those here and here in case you feel like it. The list is not extensive nor is it exhaustive. Joumana Haddad Around these parts of the world, it is usually believed that a woman getting married and having children signals the beginning of the end of her productivity as a person. She defends the sexual liberation of women, their right to do whatever they want, sleep with whoever they want whenever they want. She defends the role of women in societies.

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I Killed Scheherazade is a collection of essays, each leading off the previous one and touching on topics such as sexuality, exploration, erotic poetry, feelings of alienation, atheism and saying "To be a woman writer in an Arab country means to impose strict self-censorship, a thousand times harsher than any official censorship imposed from the outside" - Joumana Haddad, I Killed Scheherazade. I Killed Scheherazade is a collection of essays, each leading off the previous one and touching on topics such as sexuality, exploration, erotic poetry, feelings of alienation, atheism and saying no.

It makes for an utterly fascinating read. She is challenging the status quo and is licking the wounds that as an Arab woman she has been dealt repeatedly throughout her life. Haddad speaks seven languages, including Arabic, English, French and Spanish, and has written books in many languages. She has also worked on several translations, including those of her own writing.

She was raised a Catholic but is now an atheist, and finds the main monotheistic religions equally to blame for creating a society where women are left without a voice.

Just as she speaks out as an Arab woman, I reserve the right to do the same: I partly take offence for her vehement attacks against hijabs scarves. It is entirely possible to be an educated, forward-thinking woman who freely chooses to wear the hijab. I may disagree with her on many things, but I definitely know how it feels to read to reach greener pastures. She is refreshingly well-read, and references many fantastic, underrated authors that often fall between the cracks.

Her appearance is often referenced in interviews speaking of bold make-up, miniskirts, and bright colours as if this decision makes her a stronger activist.

Haddad also frequently has descriptions that are painful in how accurate they are. It means you cannot live and think what you really want to live and think honestly, spontaneously, and candidly.

It means you are split in two, forbidden from speaking the blunt truth, because the Arab majority depends upon a web of comforting lies and illusions," she writes. Arabs certainly find themselves worrying more about what is being said about them than actually walking boldly forward how they choose.

This often means restricting yourself in ways that often have nothing to do with religion, but have become ingrained in our culture. I like her stark honesty.

I like a lot of her ideas. I Killed Scheherazade is an illuminating book, and certainly worth a read.


I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman

Joumana Haddad is not your typical author, nor is she your typical woman. A rebel on her own terms, she has penned several books to date on feminism, equal rights, patriarchy, and gender in the Arab world. Because she believes that at this point in her life, she is ready to be the change she wishes to see. Haddad grew up in Beirut during the civil war, in a modest family whose primary goal was to provide her and her brother with a good education. In that sense, books have been her number one ally. Haddad has come a long way since then. She is a working mother of two Mounir and Onsi , speaks seven languages and has received numerous awards.


Joumana Haddad



NAYA | Joumana Haddad: Taboo-busting journalist, book author, show host, candidate and mom


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