Read The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood by Fatema Mernissi Free Online
Book Title: The Harem Within: Tales of a Moroccan Girlhood|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.89 MB
ISBN 13: 9780553408140
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Reader ratings: 4.8
The author of the book: Fatema Mernissi
Edition: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Date of issue: September 7th 1995
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In 1940, harems still abounded in Fez, Morocco. They weren't the opulent, bejeweled harems of Scherezade, but the domestic sprawl of extended families encamped around a walled courtyard that marked the edges of women's lives. Though born into this tightly sheltered world, Fatimi Mernissi is constantly urged by her rebellious mother to spring beyond it. Worried that Mernissi is too shy and quiet, her mother tells her, "You must learn to scream and protest, just the way you learned to walk and talk." In Dreams of Trespass, an enjoyable weave of memory and fantasy, it is clear that Mernissi's fertile imagination let her slip back and forth through the gates that trapped her restive mother. She spins amiable, often improbable tales of the rigidly proper city harem in Fez and the contrasting freedoms of the country harem where her grandmother Yakima lives. There, one of Yakima's cowives rides like the wind, another swims like a fish, and Yakima relishes twitting the humorless first wife by naming a fat, waddling duck after her.
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Read information about the authorAKA فاطمة المرنيسي
Mernissi was born into a middle-class family. She received her primary education in a school established by the nationalist movement, and secondary level education in an all-girls school funded by the French protectorate. In 1957, she studied political science at the Sorbonne and at Brandeis University, where she earned her doctorate. She returned to work at the Mohammed V University and taught at the Faculté des Lettres between 1974 and 1981 on subjects such as methodology, family sociology and psychosociology. She has become noted internationally mainly as an Islamic feminist.
As an Islamic feminist, Mernissi was largely concerned with Islam and women's roles in it, analyzing the historical development of Islamic thought and its modern manifestation. Through a detailed investigation of the nature of the succession to Muhammad, she casted doubt on the validity of some of the hadith (sayings and traditions attributed to him), and therefore the subordination of women that she saw in Islam, but not necessarily in the Qur'an.
As a sociologist, Mernissi did fieldwork mainly in Morocco. On several occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s she conducted interviews in order to map prevailing attitudes to women and work. She did sociological research for UNESCO and ILO as well as for the Moroccan authorities. In the late 1970s and in the 1980s Mernissi contributed articles to periodicals and other publications on women in Morocco and women and Islam from a contemporary as well as from a historical perspective.
In 2003, Mernissi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award along with Susan Sontag.
Mernissi was a lecturer at the Mohammed V University of Rabat and a research scholar at the University Institute for Scientific Research, in the same city.
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