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.
Important, brave and necessary . (Naomi Wolf). As political change sweeps the streets and squares, parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home - in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful and engaging account of a highly sensitive, and still largely secret, aspect of Arab society. Sex is entwined in religion and tradition, politics and economics, gender and generations, so it makes the perfect lens for examining the region's complex social landscape. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the Arab region, and brings new voices to the debate over its future. This is no peep show or academic treatise. Sex and the Citadel is a highly personal, often humorous, account of one woman's journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate, and in the process, better understand her own origins. Rich with five years of groundbreaking research from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Tunisia to Qatar, Sex and the Citadel gives us unique and timely insight into everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing in front of our very eyes.
'In her sweeping, finely researched and fascinating book Shereen El Feki spends five years travelling the Arab world asking intimate questions of the most private people on Earth... Her findings are endlessly intriguing' -- Janice Turner, The Times
'bold, meticulously researched mini Kinsey Report, rich in anecdote and statistics' -- Caroline Moorhead, Spectator
'Important, brave and necessary Naomi Wolf Remarkable... Sex and the Citadel should be celebrated - not least for freeing voices silenced by a mixture of taboo and political repression. It provides crucial oxygen for discussions that will need more airing in the long, conflicted years ahead' -- Rachel Halliburton, Independent on Sunday
'A fascinating survey of sex that is rich in detail' The Economist
'Frequently eye-popping. The stories emphasise just how bewildering the issue of sex has become across the Middle East' -- Nicholas Blincoe, Daily Telegraph
'Highly researched and refreshingly amusing... an honest appraisal of a culture and religion in turmoil' -- Malu Halasa, Times Literary Supplement
'Serious and ground-breaking study of what goes on in bedrooms away from the public turmoil taking place in Egypt. It also reappraises the sexual history of the Arab world GQ In talking to ordinary people as well as sex therapists and sociologists, El Feki has been able to produce an original portrait of the region's youth that sheds light on the condition of women, failing education and health systems, and the uses and abuses of religion to reinforce the status quo' -- Rhoula Khalaf, Financial Times
'A brave, constructive and critical book that unites rather than divides, and attempts to understand rather than to compare and contrast' Literary Review
'Dr El Feki's position as a western-educated female Muslim, both insider and outsider... gives the book an invaluable perspective and a differnet kind of authority -- Faramerz Dabhoiwala Observer There are entertaining moments but the lightness sits alongside El Feki's rigorous probing' -- Arifa Akbar Independent
Publication date: 07/03/2013
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
|Publication date:||7th March 2013|
|Publisher:||Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage|
|Genres:||The Real World,|
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.More About Shereen El-Feki