Essays and Features

The Symbolism of Political Action in the Writings of Latifa al-Zayyat

By 
Scott C. Lesko


In Latifa al-Zayyat’s “The Search: Personal Papers,” the author guides the reader on an internal psychological journey of mythological proportions. This self-exploration on the part of al-Zayyat is a personal quest for authenticity and enlightenment.

The narrative structure of al-Zayyat’s text is more than the historical sum of her life as a feminist, political activist, and prominent author. It is an attempt to reflect on the past events of her life in order to render them into a coherent unified whole.

40 Year-Old Classic Remains Influential: Sadiq Jalal al-Azm’s ‘The Critique of Religious Thought’

By 
By Elie Chalala & Michael Teague

For over 40 years now, Sadiq Jalal al-Azm’s “Naqd al-Fikr al-Dini” (“Critique of Religious Thought”) has been one of the most controversial and influential books about the role of religion in Arab politics. Originally published in 1969 by Dar Al Talia and reprinted in 2009 by the same publisher, al-Azm’s work has been cited in countless articles and books about Arab politics and, according to the Qatari weekly, Al Raya, more than 1500 pages have been written about it.

Remembering Latifa al-Zayyat

By 
By Amal Amireh

Arab cultural circles have recently mourned the loss of the prominent Egyptian intellectual Latifa al-Zayyat, who died of cancer in Cairo on September 10, 1996. She was 73 years old. Her death came soon after she had received Egypt ’s highest State Prize for literature. While the state’s acknowledgment of her achievements was long overdue, al-Zayyat had much popular and collegial support throughout her often difficult life-journey.

Arab cultural circles have recently mourned the loss of the prominent Egyptian intellectual Latifa al-Zayyat, who died of cancer in Cairo on September 10, 1996. She was 73 years old. Her death came soon after she had received Egypt ’s highest State Prize for literature. While the state’s acknowledgment of her achievements was long overdue, al-Zayyat had much popular and collegial support throughout her often difficult life-journey.

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