Égypt-actus
Follow
Find tag "HIV"
377.8K views | +80 today
Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
Curated by Egypt-actus
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Egypt-actus
Scoop.it!

Shereen El Feki discusses her new book on sex in the Arab world

Shereen El Feki discusses her new book on sex in the Arab world | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

As change sweeps across the Arab world, there are a variety of lenses through which to examine these changes: religious, cultural, political, economic. Shereen El Feki has chosen a decidedly less conventional lens with her new new book “Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World” (...)), due out Tuesday.

The book takes a close look at the sexual lives of men and women in the Middle East. Combining original research with first-person stories from housewives, young virgins, activists and sex therapists, “Sex and the Citadel” provides a detailed account of a veiled and sensitive aspect of Arab society.

Currently dividing her time between London and Cairo, El Feki has worked as a journalist for the Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She also is a former vice chairwoman of the United Nations’ Global Commission on HIV and Law.

While "Sex and the Citadel" takes a look at the sexual lives of men and women across the Middle East, there is a stronger focus specifically on Egypt.

My book is centered on Egypt, and in particular Cairo, in part for personal reasons. My father is Egyptian, most of my family live in Egypt, I carry an Egyptian passport and I’m Muslim. But I grew up in Canada, and I never thought much about my Arab heritage -- until Sept. 11, that is. (...)

 

But this is more than personal. Egypt is a natural focus of this book because it is the most popu­lous country in the Arab region. Because of its strategic geopolitical importance, it retains formidable political, economic, social and cultural influence across the region.

Egypt-actus's insight:

 

The collective sexual problems faced by Egyptians­­ -- taboos against premarital sex, masturbation, homosexuality, unwed moth­erhood, abortion, and a culture of censorship and silence, preached by religion and enforced by social convention -- are found across the Arab region. And the solutions that Egyptians will, I hope, find in the years to come will have relevance for their neighbors across the Arab region as well.

Why did you choose sex as the lens through which to examine political and social change throughout the region?

My background is in HIV/AIDS. I trained as an immunologist before becoming healthcare correspondent at the Economist (where part of my beat was covering the global HIV/AIDS epidemic), and most recently I was vice chair of the UN’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law. If you want to understand HIV in the Arab region, you have to look at sex because it is the main route of transmission in most countries in the region, and taboos around sex pose a serious challenge to tackling HIV.

It became clear to me that sexuality, more broadly defined, is an incredibly powerful lens with which to study a society, because it gives you a view not only of the miniature of people’s intimate lives but also the wider canvas of public life. Beliefs and values, attitudes and behaviors around sex are shaped by bigger forces -- politics, economics, religion, tradition, gender, generations. If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.

 

More on:http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-shereen-el-feki-discusses-her-new-book-on-sex-in-the-arab-world-20130308,0,1068763.story

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Egypt-actus
Scoop.it!

Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama confronts attitudes to HIV and AIDS

Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama confronts attitudes to HIV and AIDS | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Asmaa is a gripping film that tackles a taboo which is difficult to discuss for its perceived associations with homosexuality, prostitution and drug use, writes Renzo Bruni in a review.

 

The 24th of January 2011 was an auspicious date for Egyptian liberals and human rights activists. It was the eve of the ‘Egyptian Spring’ and one can only imagine the heady excitement and fear of those who knew they would take to the streets to demonstrate against Hosni Mubarak’s regime the following day, especially after seeing the Tunisian President flee to Saudi Arabia just two weeks earlier. On a quieter note, it was also the day of the first screening in Cairo of Asmaa, a much overlooked film by Egyptian director Amr Salama and one of the few Arab films to explore issues surrounding HIV and AIDS.

Egyptian attitudes to HIV remain pretty woeful. Those who are HIV positive are forced to keep the condition a secret for fear of being shunned by the community, as many believe the disease can be passed on as easily as the cold. Even doctors rely more on superstition than fact in dealing with HIV-positive patients – according to one survey, 57 per cent of doctors believed HIV could be transmitted by mosquitoes, and many refuse to treat people with the condition..

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Based on the true story of one such person who could not obtain medical treatment, Salama’s film centres on Asmaa, a HIV-positive woman living in Cairo who suffers from gallstones but is refused the relatively simple operation to remove them when she reveals her HIV status.

Asmaa keeps her condition a secret from everybody except her father, in fear of how neighbours and colleagues will react. The height of the prejudice comes to a head at work, where Asmaa has long avoided providing her employer with her medical records. When assured that she can’t be fired for her HIV status she finally produces her records, only to be humiliated when her boss reveals her condition to her colleagues and asks them to vote on whether or not they feel able to work alongside her. A regretful show of hands forces Asmaa to leave her job behind.

more...
No comment yet.