Remembering Emily Nasrallah (1931-2018): In Her Words

ArabLit

Earlier this month, Lebanese feminist writer Emily Nasrallah died at 86. Today, we remember some of her words:

Childhood and youth

“I never thought I would get beyond the third elementary,” Nasrallah told writer and journalist Olivia Snaije. “I repeated the last class for several years just to keep going to school — I desperately wanted something to read, and the only book around was the Arabic edition of the Bible whose stories were too complicated for children.”

Nasrallah, Snaije writes, convinced an uncle living in the US to fund her secondary education. Later, “My family put so much pressure on me that I really had to fight and then fight again to go to university. It was unheard of for a girl to leave the village.”

On the Lebanese Civil War

“[T]he war changed the social situation of women who were homemakers when from one day to the…

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