Conferences and debates
Arab Women and Public Cultural Life
From April 25, 2014 until April 29, 2014
Conference on Tuesday, April 29 in Madrid, organized with the cooperation of the Association of Arab Diplomat Ladies.
Casa Árabe and the Association of Arab Diplomat Ladies in Madrid organized the round-table discussion “Contemporary Arab Women and Their Role in Public Cultural Life.” The event, which will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) will include the participation of
Nieves Paradela, a professor from the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Amal Murad, an Egyptian diplomat on leave and member of the board of directors of the Arab Diplomat Ladies’ Association; gallery owner Sabrina Amrani, and writer and translator Bahira Abdullatif. The discussion will be moderated by Nuria Medina, coordinator of Culture and New Media at Casa Árabe.
To be analyzed at this round table is the position of women in today’s Arab societies and their presence in the public realm. Topics involving the transformations which have taken place as of the second half of the twentieth century will be examined, in terms of women’s status and the advancement of their professional and personal lives, in addition to the challenges created by the sociocultural contexts in today’s Arab countries. There will be specific analysis of the cultural world and creative women’s participation in artistic, literary and other movements, as well as in the development of these professional sectors, in terms of both local contexts and their international dimension.
The speeches given will be about:
- The role of women in the public sphere and in literary activity, by Nieves Paradela.
- Arab women’s literary production: their creativity and authenticity, and their low level of outside exposure, by Bahira Abdulatif.
- The contemporary art produced by women in Arab countries and their professional role in the sector, by Sabrina Amrani.
- Present and future of Arab women’s role in public life, by Amal Murad.
A Professor of Arab Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Ms. Paradela’s lines of research revolve around the Arabic language and Arabic language teaching, modern Arab literature and its translation, and Arab cultural history. In addition to various translations of current Arab writers, both men and women, she is the author of “El otro laberinto español. Viajeros árabes a España entre el siglo XVII y 1936” (“The Other Spanish Labyrinth: Arab travelers to Spain from the seventeenth century to 1936”); “Manual de sintaxis árabe” (“Arab Syntax Manual”) and “La traductora y sus papeles” (“The Translator and Her Roles”). She is the author of many articles and just recently published a text titled “Arab Feminism and Its Fight for Women’s Rights” in the journal Encuentros Multidisciplinares.
Bahira Abdulatif Yasin
An Iraqi scholar, writer and translator with Spanish nationality born in Baghdad, she has worked at several universities: Baghdad, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the University of Salamanca, etc. She is the co-author of 14 books in Spanish, which include “Iraq bajo ocupación: Destrucción de la identidad y la memoria” (“Iraq Under Occupation: Destruction of identity and memory”), “Lapidación, mujer árabe, islam y sociedad” (“Stoning, Arab Women, Islam and Society”) and “Mujeres en las religiones” (“Women in Religions”). She has had books published in Arabic (stories, essays and poetry) and has translated into the Arabic language the works of Rafael Alberti (earning the Award for Best Translated Book of the Year in Iraq), Jorge Luis Borges, José Carlos Mainer and José Antonio Maravall, as well as others. She has given dozens of conferences and talks on the Arab and Islamic world (with a special interest in the topic of women) and collaborates with various media. She is the founder of a publishing house for cultural information in Arabic, “El Aleph.”
Ms. Amrani opened the gallery with her name in Madrid in June 2011. In a very brief period of time, she has managed to get her named positioned within the international art market, representing well-established artists, but also young creators who are emerging forcefully in recent years, specifically in the Arab and Islamic world. To be highlighted amongst them are Younes Baba-ali (Morocco), Amina Benbouchta (Morocco), Elvire Bonduelle (France), Zoulikha Bouabdellah (Algeria), Ayesha Jatoi (Pakistan), Nicène Kossentini (Tunisia), Waqas Khan (Pakistan), Larissa Sansour (Palestine) and UBIK (India). The interests of this gallery owner revolve around topics such as identity, borders, sociopolitical affairs and the reality of women, interests which are also directly related with her education as a sociologist at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is a fervent defender of art as the best cultural ambassador.
An Egyptian diplomat since 1984, Ms. Murad is currently on leave. She has a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Political Science from the American University of Cairo. Her most recent assignments were as the Ambassador of Egypt in the Czech Republic and, prior to that, assistant advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the countries of the Arab East. She is a member of the board of directors of the Arab Diplomat Ladies’ Association and was its chairwoman in 2012 and 2013.