Nawal El Saadawi is a novelist, a psychiatrist and a writer who is well known both in the Arab countries and in many other parts of the world. Her novels and her books on the situation of women in Egyptian and Arab society have had a deep effect on successive generations of young women over the last three decades.
As a result of her literary and scientific writings she 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 editted for more than three years was closed down. In 1981 President Sadat put her in prison. She was released one month after his assassination.
Today her name figures on the one of the death lists issued by some fanatical terrorist organizations. This list was also publicized in a neighboring Arab country and in cassettes which are widely distributed all over the country.
On June 15, 1991, the government issued a decree which closed down the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association over which she presides and hand over its funds to the Association called Women in Islam. Six months before this decree the government closed down the magazine, Noon, published by the Association. She was Editor in Chief of this Magazine.
Nawal El Saadawi has been awarded several national and international literary prizes, and has lectured in many universities and participated in many international and national conferences. Her works have been translated into over 30 languages all over the world, and some of them are taught in a number of university colleges in different countries.
These universities include in Egypt: The American University in Cairo; Cairo University; Ain Sham University in Cairo. In the United States; Duke University; The University of Washington in Seattle; Harvard University; Yale University; New York University; Columbia University; The University of California at Berkeley; The University of Illinois; Georgetown University; The University of Virginia; UCLA; Indiana University and others. She has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge, at the Sorbonne in Paris, at Bern University in Switzerland, and widely throughout the rest of Europe.
Visiting Professor, Duke University Center for International Studies and Program in Asian and African Languages and Literature, 1993-1994
Head of Women’s Program in the UN-ECWA Beirut, Lebanon, 1978-1980
Consultant on Women’s Programs in the UN, ECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1978-1979
Author in the Supreme Council for Arts and Social Sciences, Cairo, Egypt, 1974-1978
Acting Director General and Director General, Health Education Department, Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt, 1966-1972
Medical Doctor, University Hospital and Ministry of Health, 1955-1965
Other Professional Activities:
Founder and President, Arab Women Solidarity Association, 1982-Present, and Founder, Noon Magazine, magazine of the Association, 1989-1991.
Co-founder, Arab Association for Human Rights, 1983-1987
Founder and Vice-President, African Association for Women on Research and Development, Dakkar, Senegal, 1977-1987
President and Organizer, International Conference on the Challenges Facing Arab Women, Cairo, September 1986
Founder, Health Education Association and Chief Editor, Health Magazine, Cairo, Egypt, 1968-1974
Founder, Egyptian Women Writer’s Association, 1971
Secretary-General of Medical Association, Cairo, Egypt, 1968-1972
Honorary Doctorate, University of York, United Kingdom, 1994
First Degree Decoration of the Republic of Libya, 1989
Literary Award of Gubran, 1988
Arab Association of Australia Award, 1988
Literary Award by the Franco-Arab Friendship Association, Paris, France, 1982
Literary Award by the Supreme Council for Arts amd Social Sciences, Cairo, Egypt, 1974