Shereen El Feki is a writer, broadcaster, and academic who started her professional life in medical science before going on to become an award-winning journalist with The Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She is former vice-chair of the UN's Global Commission on HIV and the Law, as well as a TED Global Fellow. Shereen writes for a number of publications, among them the Huffington Post. With roots in Egypt and Wales, Shereen grew up in Canada; she now divides her time between London and Cairo.
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2013. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, this book looks at the sexual history of the Arab region, and brings voices to the debate over its future. It offers an account of one woman's journey to understand Arab society at its intimate, and in the process, better understand her own origins.
A fascinating, groundbreaking book that looks at changing sexual attitudes and behaviour in the Arab world, and their part in the current popular revolts in the Middle East.In the political unrest that has recently swept across the Arab region, all eyes have been on the streets and squares erupting in protest. But for the past five years, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home - in the sexual lives of men and women across the Arab world. The result is Sex and the Citadel, an informative, insightful and engaging account of a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society. Sex might seem a strange lens with which to examine change in the Arab world; it is, in fact, a prism with which to refract the region's complex social spectrum. Sexual attitudes and behaviours are intimately bound up in religion, culture, politics and economics. As such, they are not only a reflection of the conditions that led to the recent uprisings, as well as one of the engines of revolt, but will also be a measure of hard-won reforms in the years to come. Sex and the Citadel is no peep show. By linking sexuality to political, economic, social and religious trends, it opens a window on the greater landscape of the Arab world, both for readers new to the region whose interest has been sparked by recent events, and for old hands familiar with the Arab world. Nor is the book an academic treatise: this is a highly personal account, rich with original research and first-person stories, that gives us unprecedented and timely insight into a part of the world that is transforming in front of our very eyes.