Dr. Al-Saadawi was among 1500 activists imprisoned by President Sadat shortly before his assassination in October 1981. She was released after three months and was published in Arabic, ‘Notes from the Women’s Prison’ In 1983.
Her message and style sparked ambiguous assessments in the West.
After the first books of Dr. Saadawi were translated into English, “The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World” was published in the United States in 1982, by the Bacon Press, Vivian Gornick, Review it in The New York Times Book Review, She wrote, “It is an intriguing work of American feminism.”
And she continued, saying: “Written by a Marxist who has read Freud, in a country and a people that needs an educated introduction to the idea of women’s equality, the book appears to be confused by the inorganic nature of its understanding.”
Four years later, we will review Dr. Al Saadawi’s novel “God Dies on the Nile,” by the Indian-born American writer Bharati Mukherjee He wrote that the author “deals directly and emotionally with social issues, transforming the systematic brutal treatment of peasants and women into a powerful allegory.”
“This direct trend may alienate American readers,” she added.
Under President Mubarak, the successor to Sadat, Dr. El Saadawi was placed under police custody to protect her from Islamic threats. Her name was mentioned on the so-called death list published in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
After fleeing to Duke, where she was studying from 1993 to 1996, Dr. El Saadawi wrote two more bi volumes. When she returned to Egypt, she continued to face fundamentalist accusations of apostasy and heresy. She announced her plans to run for president against Mr. Mubarak in 2004 but decided instead to boycott the elections when her followers were threatened.
In her eighties, she seemed to indicate that her struggle was far from over.
“Do you feel liberated?” I asked a Guardian writer, a woman, In a 2015 interview. When the author nodded, Dr. El Saadawi said, “Well, I feel I am not.”