Join Author Katherine Zoepf and Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur as they discuss Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World, Zoepf’s masterful investigation that gives voice to the remarkable women who have changed Arab societies—from 9/11 to Tahrir Square to the rise of ISIS.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals. Hundreds of thousands of devout girls and women are attending Qur’anic schools—and using the training to argue for greater rights and freedoms from an Islamic perspective. And, in 2011, young women helped to lead antigovernment protests in the Arab Spring.
Our speakers will examine the complex lives of young women living in pre-civil war Syria, resisting extreme standards of self-presentation in Lebanon, and finding work and freedom outside the home in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.
In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.