Iraqi Women: Untold Stories From 1948 to the Present

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9781842777459: Iraqi Women: Untold Stories From 1948 to the Present
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Nadje al-Ali challenges the myths and misconceptions which have dominated debates about Iraqi women, bringing a much needed gender perspective to bear on a central political issue of our time. She traces the political history of Iraq from post-colonial independence, to the emergence of a women's movement in the 1950s and Saddam Hussein's early policy of state feminism. The book also discusses the increases in social conservatism, domestic violence and prostitution, and shows that, far from being passive victims, Iraqi women have been, and continue to be, key political actors. The impact of Islam on women's lives is analysed in the context of the recent invasion and occupation, and it is argued that US-led calls for liberation may in the long term serve to oppress the women of Iraq further. 

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About the Author:

Nadje Al-Ali is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, UK.

Review:

'Nadje Al-Ali delivers a nuanced and powerful interrogation of the complex relationships between experience, memory and truth, told through the dynamic narratives of Iraqi women.  The result is a compelling critique of contemporary histories of Iraq which project back into the past relatively newly installed notions of religion and ethnicity.' - Suad Joseph, Professor of Anthropology & Women's Studies, University of California, Davis
 
'Nadje al-Ali has written a finely nuanced account of the experiences of women in Iraq in the second half of the twentieth century, interpreting the illuminating and often moving stories of the women themselves in the context of key developments in Iraqi politics and society. Her experience of Iraqi society as an insider/outsider, and her understanding of the political background of her informants (Communists, Arab Nationalists, Islamists) enables her to explore the relationship between experiences, memory and truth in ways which will intrigue and excite her readers.' - Peter Sluglett, Professor of Middle Eastern History, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
 
'In this extraordinary book, Al-Ali deftly weaves together the personal narratives of a wide range of Iraqi women to illuminate the modern history of Iraq and the complex ways that women's lives have been shaped by politics. Particularly sobering is her balanced and sensitive analysis of the negative effects on women's rights and lives of the decade of sanctions and the current US- British occupation, where class has been replaced by sectarian and ethnic division and where the climate of militarism and violence is having, as it always does, devastating consequences for women.' -  Lila Abu-Lughod, Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University
 
'Nadje Al-Ali draws a vivid picture of Iraqi society and politics using intense personal narratives, and offers alternative visions of modern Iraqi history. An absorbing read.' - Sami Zubaida, Emeritus Professor, Birkbeck, University of London
 
'This is an invaluable book; especially now when the multi-faceted identity and history of Iraqis is increasingly subsumed under crude and simplistic categories which do not relate to the lived experience of the people. With intellectual rigour, a profound sense of empathy and a calm passion, Nadje Al-Ali unearths the stories of Iraq's women, providing thoughtful analysis and reflection on the nature of memory and identity. She refuses any spurious unifying agenda and instead accepts the contradictions and the multiple truths which are the reality of people's lives. This book is also the author's personal story; it is an act of discovery and also the reclamation of an identity, painful layer by painful layer. For both the author, and for the women whose stories she relates, this book exhibits the complex and, often difficult, conjunction between history and personal lives.' - Maysoon Pachachi, Filmmaker
 
'Iraqi Women is an original and engrossing book that traces the life histories of women over four decades of Iraq's development. It speaks with an immediacy and an authenticity that should put many ersatz histories of Iraq to shame. I recommend it to all those interested in women's contributions to Iraq, and in their enormous steadfastness in the face of revolution, war and occupation.' - Hala Fattah
 
 

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Book Description ZED BOOKS LTD, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The war in Iraq has put the condition of Iraqi women firmly on the global agenda. For years, their lives have been framed by state oppression, economic sanctions and three wars. Now they must play a seminal role in reshaping their country's future for the twenty-first century.Nadje Al-Ali challenges the myths and misconceptions which have dominated debates about Iraqi women, bringing a much needed gender perspective to bear on the central political issue of our time. Based on life stories and oral histories of Iraqi women, she traces the history of Iraq from post-colonial independence, to the emergence of a women's movement in the 1950s, Saddam Hussein's early policy of state feminism to the turn towards greater social conservatism triggered by war and sanctions. Yet, the book also shows that, far from being passive victims, Iraqi women have been, and continue to be, key social and political actors. Following the invasion, Al-Ali analyses the impact of occupation and Islamist movements on women's lives and argues that US-led calls for liberation has led to a greater backlash against Iraqi women. Seller Inventory # BTE9781842777459

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