by Karine Ancellin Saleck
“We must celebrate our similarities rather than our differences” -- Nawal Al Sadawi
Nawal Al Sadawi was in Belgium invited by AWSA (Arab Women Solidarity Association) to reflect on Arab women in Europe. Because of her literary fame, Mrs Al Sadawi has had to face numerous difficulties and even dangers in her life. In 1972 she lost her job in the Egyptian government. The magazine, Health, which she had founded and edited for more than three years, was closed down. In 1981, President Sadat put her in prison. She was released one month after his assassination. From 1988 to 1993, her name figured on death lists issued by some fanatical terrorist organizations. She lived in exile for five years. In 2001, she won her case in Cairo court against forceful divorce from her husband (according to Hisba law). In 2004, Al Azhar in Cairo banned her novels, The Fall of the Imam and Al Riwaya. On 15 June 1991, the government issued a decree that closed down the Arab Women's Solidarity Association, over which she presides, and handed over its funds to the association called Women in Islam.