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Discursive Interruptions: Juxtaposing Arab Women’s Activism
This research paper offers a poetic discourse with Arab women’s activism in the 19th century. The author considers the conception of Arab feminist activism, its challenges, obstacles and role in society, and inquires into portrayals, dichotomies and differences within women’s activism. Throughout this inquiry, poetry is used to explore, question, and engage with the history (Leggo, 1999). This process of inquiry constructs and interrupts knowledge taken for granted; it enables exploration with depth of experience and expression; it allows researchers to make sense of their observations, raising questions that could help fill in inevitable cracks of misunderstandings when reading history (Pavlenko, 2002; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). The author engages with the works of five prominent writers who publicly articulated activist thought in the 19th and early twentieth centuries: Aisha al Taimuriya, Zeynab Fawwaz, Huda Shaarawi, May Ziadeh, and Malak Hifni Nassif. Turning their writings into found poetry, the author dialogues with the women, juxtaposing their experiences with the present realities of Arab women, showing parallels and contradictions between the past and the present. In so doing, the author reveals an intimate window into the lives of these pioneers, whose voices and activism have largely been ignored and omitted from Arab history textbooks. Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Leggo, C. (1999). Research as poetic rumination: Twenty-six ways of listening to light. In L. Neilsen, A. L. Cole, & J. G. Knowles (Eds.), The art of writing inquiry (pp. 173–195). Halifax, NS: Backalong Books. Pavlenko, A. (2002). Narrative study: Whose story is it, anyway? TESOL Quarterly, 36(2), 213-218.
Geographic Area
All Middle East
Sub Area
19th-21st Centuries