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Women, Freedom and the Islamic World
Festival of Asian Literature Pre-Festival event
18 Apr 2013
£7Asia House Friends
Elif Shafak - Honour
Haifa Zangana – Dreaming of Baghdad
Kamin Mohammadi – The Cypress Tree
Moderator Samira Ahmed
Our panel of women writers from Turkey, Iraq and Iran look at issues of concern to women in Islamic societies: love, marriage and family, domestic and sexual violence, freedom and autonomy, war, how women’s freedom differs between countries, how changes in Islam and world perceptions have influenced Muslim women’s lives and how their writing can affect change.
Elif Shafak is the acclaimed author of The Bastard of Istanbul andThe Forty Rules of Love and is the most widely read female novelist in Turkey. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Her newest book, Honour, is a powerful novel set in Turkey and London in the 1970s, exploring pain and loss and the clash of tradition and modernity that can often tear immigrant families apart.
Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi novelist, author, artist, and political activist. In the early 1970s, as a young activist in Iraq, Haifa was imprisoned by the Baath regime. Her latest book, Dreaming of Baghdad, explains her first years of forced exile, the time of her incarceration, the loss of comrades to torture and death in prison and the ways in which memory conspires to make us forget what sometimes is most dear to us.
Journalist, travel writer and broadcaster Kamin Mohammadi was born in Iran but exiled with her family in the UK in 1979. The Cypress Tree is Kamin's memoir of her journey home, to rediscover her Iranian self and to discover for the first time the story of her family.
Moderator Samira Ahmed is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and Visiting Professor at Kingston University. With a special interest in how politics is reflected through contemporary culture, Samira wrote and presented the Channel 4 documentary series Islam Unveiled, exploring Muslim feminism in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Nigeria.
This event is in partnership with the British Council as part of the Cultural Programme for Turkey Market Focus at The London Book Fair 2013
Elif Shafak image © Muammer Yanmaz