The Wheeler Centre
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Real Talk: The Lives of Arab Women
Sydney-based author Amal Awad was fed up with the cliched depictions of Arab women by Western writers, so she travelled across Australia and the Middle East to speak directly with women of Arab heritage from all over the region about their own lives and their own opinions.
The result is a book, Beyond Veiled Cliches: The Real Lives of Arab Women, containing interviews with 60 women from very different backgrounds: lawyers, professors, ambassadors, activists, physicians – even a Lebanese clown. The women spoke about all sorts of issues affecting their lives from justice to history to sex and, yes, the veil.
In a culturally diverse region, what experiences do women across the Middle East have in common? How do both Muslim and non-Muslim Arab women feel about stereotypes of the Middle East? What kinds of progress are being made to improve the lives of Arab women by Arab women and how do these advancements look from the perspective of the women living them? With interviewee Joumanah El Matrah, Awad discusses her travels and the candid and creative women she met along the way. Hosted by braodcaster Hilary Harper.