Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy - review by Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak

Tear off the Veil

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 240pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

‘The Middle East’ is a hot topic that shows no signs of cooling down any time soon. Despite the myriad articles, panels, conferences, workshops and live debates on the state and fate of the region, its sociocultural complexity remains little understood. Amid the deluge of political and economic analyses, the people – ordinary people with day-to-day concerns and universal dreams – fail to draw the attention of international experts or attract proper media coverage. And if people are too often forgotten, women are twice as invisible.

Yet whether experts recognise it or not, a major social change is under way across the region and beyond. We women from the Muslim world are becoming more politicised and more vocal about the issues that matter deeply to us. We have understood that we have more to lose than ever before. We need to face fundamental questions about our

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