Nawal El Saadawi: Egypt’s grand novelist, physician and global activist

Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal El Saadawi, firebrand who dared to write dangerously. 

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • El Saadawi was a global iconoclast in the best sense of the phrase.
  • In a world that has become compartmentalised, tribal, overtly racist, anti-science and unashamedly sexist, her novels espoused truths that made her unpopular with many in government and in the so-called establishment.

Egyptian novelist, physician, sociologist and global activist Nawal El Saadawi died on 21 March 2021 at the age of 89. The author of more than 50 books, she told me in one of our many interviews, in 2007, that she self-identified as an African from Egypt, not from the Middle East … I am not from the third world. There is one world, that is a racist, capitalist economic world. I became a feminist when I was a child – when I started to ask questions to become aware that women are oppressed and feel discrimination.


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