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Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal El Saadawi graduated from the University of Cairo Medical College in 1955, specialising in psychiatry, and practiced as a medical doctor until taking the position of Director General for Public Health Education in the Ministry of Health. In 1972 she lost her job in the Egyptian government because of her banned book: Woman and Sex. In 1982, she established the Arab Women's Solidarity Association (AWSA), the Egyptian Branch of which was outlawed in Egypt in1991.  In 1981 Saadawi was arrested and imprisoned for publicly criticising President Anwar Sadat's policies. She was released one month after his assassination. Her name appeared on a fundamentalist death list after publishing her novel The Fall of the Imam in Cairo in 1988 and she was obliged to leave her country, to teach in the USA. Other court cases have been raised against both her and her daughter and defeated. In 2008 she defeated a case that demanded the withdrawal of her Egyptian Nationality in response to her play God Resigns at the Summit Meeting.

Her most famous novel, Woman at Point Zero was published in Beirut in 1973. It was followed in 1976 by God Dies by the Nile and in 1977 by The Hidden Face of Eve. The Hidden Face of Eve was her first book to be translated to English and was published by Zed Books in 1980. Her most recent novel is Zina: The Stolen Novel (2008). Nawal El Saadawi has published over 45 books, which have been translated into over 30 languages. She holds more than ten honorary doctorates from different universities in Europe and the USA. Her many prizes and awards include the Great Minds of the Twentieth Century Prize (2003), the North-South Prize from the Council of Europe, the Premi Internacional Catalunya (2004), and most recently she was the 2007 recipient of The African Literature Association's Fonlon-Nichols Award. From 2007-2009 she held the Cosby Chair at Spelman College in Atlanta. Her books are taught in universities across the world.

Nawal El Saadawi has received many awards and accolades during her life. In October she received the Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award (UK); La Federación de Mujeres Progresistas (FMP)[Progressive Women's Federation (FMP)] in Madrid and The University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award in November 2012.

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