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Title: Echoes from the past : a narrative inquiry into 19th century Arab women's movements
Author: Honein, Natalie A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 7972
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Women's activism in the Arab world started in the second half of the 19th century. Arab women have since been voicing and publishing their views, rejections of status quo, and demands for social change. Recognizing their activism and feminist articulations is necessary for a more informed understanding of Arab women, and calls attention to their often omitted presence in history's memory. The aim of this narrative, auto-ethnographic inquiry is twofold: to explore the history of Arab women's activism in Egypt and Lebanon; and to re-present and engage with the voices of five pioneers born in the 19th century, Aisha al-Taimuriya (1840-1902), Zaynab Fawwaz (1846-1914), Huda Shaarawi (1879 -1947), May Ziadeh (1886-1941) and Malak Hifni Nasif (1886-1918). Through poetry, the inquirer constructs a narrative understanding of the history and lives of the pioneers from the perspective of a contemporary Arab woman. She engages in an imagined poetic dialogue with the pioneers, and searches for parallels and contradictions between their lives and experiences, and what has transpired a century later. She juxtaposes life in the Arab world between the 19th and 21st centuries, exploring the consequences and struggles for Arab women who continue to be deeply submerged in patriarchal values and interests. The inquiry examines the extent to which articulations of activism in the 19th century have liberated Arab women today. This narrative inquiry 'gives voice' to a small repertoire of Arab women's powerful, though often absent, voices. It draws on contemporary experiences and observations that can lead to a public space where collective self-awareness and change in the status of Arab women can continue, or in some cases begin. The research neither seeks nor claims any definitive answers regarding women's status in society. Rather, by inquiring narratively into the pioneers' voices, the research contributes to a more rounded and grounded understanding of Arab women's position in contemporary society. In so doing, and in the tradition of feminist research, the inquirer contributes to unveiling the lives of these pioneers, and allowing the reader to hear the echoes of their appeals to society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available