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.