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Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2013
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Description

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.
 
As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an 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, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate over its future.
 
This is no peep show or academic treatise but a highly personal and often humorous account of one woman’s journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate and, in the process, to better understand her own origins. Rich with five years of groundbreaking research, Sex and the Citadel gives us a unique and timely understanding of everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing before our eyes.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/12/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307907431
ASIN:
B005X0JS14
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Shereen El Feki. (2013). Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Shereen El Feki. 2013. Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Shereen El Feki, Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Shereen El Feki. Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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        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 for The Economist and a presenter at Al Jazeera English. She is former vice-chair of the U.N.’s Global Commission on HIV and Law, and a TED Global Fellow. She divides her time between London and Cairo.

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fullDescription

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.
 
As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an 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, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate over its future.
 
This is no peep show or academic treatise but a highly personal and often humorous account of one woman’s journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate and, in the process, to better understand her own origins. Rich with five years of groundbreaking research, Sex and the Citadel gives us a unique and timely understanding of everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing before our eyes.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "El Feki has spent four years investigating an intriguing and potentially explosive subject: changing sexual attitudes and behavior in the Arab world. . . . A thoughtful study not to be treated as titillation."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "A clear wakeup call."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, starred review
      • content: "El Feki, with familial roots deep in Egypt, delves into a sensitive, rarely addressed topic in this tour de force on Arab life. . . . Mandatory reading for anyone seeking to truly know the Middle East, Sex and the Citadel should knock the doors off assumptions held dear by so many Westerners."
      • premium: False
      • source: Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth
      • content: "Shereen El Feki has done something important, brave, and necessary. By investigating what sexual experiences and values are in the Arab world, rather than projecting views on them ideologically, she insists on our taking seriously and urgently major social issues--from cliterodectomy to adultery in a traditional context to passion itself--that are shrouded in myth, taboo, and disinformation. She has done a major service to those who care about feminism in this region, about human rights, about sexuality, and about the human condition."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tewodros Melesse, director-general, International Planned Parenthood Federation
      • content: "Sex and the Citadel captures the vibrancy of contemporary issues being faced by those living in Muslim societies today. El Feki brings to life the hopes, fears, and challenges of a wide range of individuals as they deal with sex, love, and relationships. There is much here to learn for both Muslims and non-Muslims. This book explores how views on contemporary life vary across different Muslim communities."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews, starred review
      • content: "A daring new study. El Feki embarks on her subject with healthy doses of humor and irony. She looks at the tensions between what is halal (permitted under Islamic law) and haram (forbidden) or zina (downright debauchery). She also discusses sex education, abortion, pornography, homosexuality, and even lingerie and cross-dressing. A surprisingly open, extremely timely examination of the sexual coming-of-age for Egyptian youth."
      • premium: False
      • source: Pinar Ilkkaracan, co-founder, Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR), and the International Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR)
      • content: "An engrossing book with a powerful interrogation of intimate relationships and politics in Egypt. Sex and the Citadel brilliantly explores the complex conjunction between contemporary history and personal lives."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: "This survey of sexual habits across the Arab world is as serious-minded as it is entertaining."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Sunday Telegraph
      • content: "A cogent account of sexual liberty in the Arab world."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Star Lebanon
      • content: "Sex and the Citadel is a fascinating exploration of sexual culture, based on a well-balanced mixture of history, statistical information gleaned from the few surveys conducted by various NGOs, and first-hand interviews, which in many cases show that the official studies have barely scratched the surface."
      • premium: False
      • source: Times Higher Education Supplement, Book of the Week
      • content: "This is a principled book, robustly educative and illuminating without consenting to the kind of vacant voyeurism that the intimate life veiled by Islam can provoke in unthinking outsiders."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
      • content: "Combining thorough reportage and sure-handed critical views, El Feki excels at sketching primary themes in images that stick...a supremely eye-opening book."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 26, 2012
        "When it comes to sexuality," El Feki writes, "the Arab world can seem like a citadel." For her assault upon that fortress, she mobilizes medical expertise, reportorial skills, and personal experience as a Cairo-based journalist (currently vice-chair of the U.N.'s Global Commission on HIV and Law) and the daughter of an Egyptian father. It's all here: matchmaking, diverse forms of marriage ("official," "unofficial," "summer"), anal sex, oral sex, sexual positions, sexual dysfunction, impotence, infertility, domestic violence, virginity (testing, proving, losing, restoring), female genital mutilation, abortion, illegitimacy, sex education, prostitution, "legal sex work," and LGBT issues. In linking young Middle Easterners making "rebellion against the head of state and openly defying the heads of their families," she makes a case for "sexuality a mirror of the conditions that led to uprisings." "Not an academic tome, nor a slice of Arab exotica," El Feki warns, as she dips into history (Flaubert's travels, al-Katib's thousand-year-old Encyclopedia of Pleasure), talks with diverse contemporaries (beauty parlor owner, female genital mutilation practitioner, herbalist, sex therapist, lawyer, talk show host), and bits of family history. Though El Feki's breadth and detail is wearying, she delivers a clear wakeup call: "The Arab region began this decade with a political big bang; how that will shape, and in turn be shaped by, sexual life is an open question." Agent: Toby Eady, Toby Eady Associates, U.K.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2014

        From the subtly provocative cover to the fascinating (yet respectful) content, this survey of changing attitudes toward sex in Egypt and other Muslim countries is groundbreaking and indispensable.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.
 
As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an 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, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate...

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group