The Secret Doors: Uncovering the History of Arab Women Writers
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According to Bouthaina Shaaban, professor of literature at Damascus University, the story of Arab women novelists reflects, in many ways, the story of most women in different disciplines. It is the story of abundant creativity with very few rights or sometimes no rights at all. It is the story of a history locked in dark rooms or forgotten on library shelves. It is the story of a group of women who are absented from the literary scene simply because their creativity and attitudes proved to be different from men’s, who were, and still are, the ‘main-stream’ and the only arbiters who decide what is valuable in literature and what is not. It is a story that went unnoticed for a hundred years because, as men related it, there was only one version of the official history of Arabic literature.