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Mona Eltahawy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Mona Eltahawy
A powerful voice who’s made a strong impact with her words, the Egyptian-American writer, journalist, and commentator Mona Eltahawy is a well known figure for many. Writing copious essays and articles over the years, she’s an outspoken feminist voice with a lot to say, often speaking on women’s issues and rights. A strong proponent of LGBTQ rights, she’s helped spearhead a number of political movements, including the ‘Mosque Me Too Movement,’ which provided a platform for Muslim women to speak out on abuse. All this has seen her become a much respected figure, as she’s a highly prominent anarchist feminist with a lot to say.

Previously working as a news correspondent, she’d work as a journalist writing for a number of different publications. Never afraid to criticize different governments and regimes, she has always spoken out about injustice wherever she sees it. This may land her in trouble, but she continues in the face of it all, never giving up, and persevering through everything. Many readers around the world have reacted positively to this, enjoying her work, as it resonates with many from a variety of different backgrounds.

Getting straight to the heart of many social issues, she’s a strong writer with and equally powerful and articulate voice. Often an activist as well as a writer, she’s committed herself to many different issues, elevating the voices of those involved alongside her own. Not afraid to speak her mind, she’s also won numerous awards, gaining much acclaim from both readers and critics alike. Not stopping either, she continues to write, speak out, and organize, with a lot more to come in the following years.

Early and Personal Life
Born in Port Said, Egypt, on the 1st of August, she would move to the United Kingdom with her family at the age seven. Later, when she was fifteen, her and her family would move on to Saudi Arabia, going on to graduate from the American University in Cairo. Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in 1990 and a master’s in 1992, she would gain qualifications in Mass Communications, while concentrating on Journalism.

This would later see her going on to work for the news agency Reuters while based in Cairo, and then later in Jerusalem as well. Moving to the United States in 2000, she would go on to gain her American citizenship in 2011, all while continuing to report on news from around the world. In 2005 she was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow, which she received from the American Society for Muslim Advancement, as she continues to write and work to this day.

Writing Career
Over the years Mona Eltahawy has produced an extensive body of work, much of it pertaining to her politics and activism. Many of her articles have featured in a variety of prestigious publications, from The Guardian, to The Washington Post, and the International Herald-Tribune. This also includes a variety of different online outlets, including feminist site Jezebel, from which she spoke on the Egyptian revolution, reporting directly.

She has won many awards for her work through the years too, including ‘Muslim Leader of Tomorrow’ in 2005, ‘Samir Kassir Freedom of the Press’ in 2009, and the ‘Speaking Truth to Power Award’ from the Women’s Media Center in 2014. These are just some of the plaudits she received throughout her long and illustrious career so far, as well as appearing on television on numerous occasion too. Unafraid to speak out for her principles, she’s a writer with a lot more to come, as she carries on speaking out against injustice and oppression.

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution
Initially published on the 12th of August in 2014, this would first come out through the ‘Farrar, Straus and Giroux’ publishing label. A work of non-fiction, it comes off the back of an essay previously written by Mona Eltahawy, and one which gained a lot of attention at the time. Moving through the countries of the Middle East, from Yemen, to Egypt, through to Tunisia and Libya, it has a huge amount of scope to it.

Looking at misogyny in the Middle East, Mona Eltahawy examines the role of Arab women and how it has suffered under patriarchal conditions there. Basing it on an essay that she wrote for the Foreign Policy magazine originally, Mona comes to understand the problem in greater detail here. Breaking down the social and political structure of the oppression that women have had to face, it sees how they’re treated as second class citizens. Understanding the religious dimension of it all as well, the book then goes on to explain what needs to be done and how the Middle East can hopefully move on.

Handled with tact and sensitivity, Eltahawy deals with a number of issues here, taking them on head first with care and precision. Making a plea for action, this is a tract that definitely stays with the reader long after they’ve put the book down. While it’s fiercely angry, it’s measured in tone with a proactive and intelligent line of thought, really driving it home for the reader.

The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls
First released through the Beacon Press publishing label, this was originally published in 2019 on the 17th of September. It’s another stand-alone work of non-fiction, providing a polemic from the author that speaks to and empowers the reader. Straight to the point, Eltahawy doesn’t waste any time getting to heart of what it is that she’s trying to say here, leaving a lot to really think about.

Women are traditionally told not to commit certain ‘sins’ in the eyes of the patriarchy, and it’s these seven sins that Mona Eltahawy takes to task. Anger, ambition, profanity, violence, attention-seeking, lust, and power, are all things that women have been told aren’t for them. Having experienced her own trauma in the past due to sexism, Eltahawy doesn’t hold back, as she takes a searing and honest look at the patriarchy. Working as a manifesto essentially, it provides solid action for women and activists to take back control, dismantling the patriarchal system as opposed to simply surviving it.

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