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New Book Explores the Secret Lives of Young Arab Women


We at Women’s Voices are eager to hear, and provide a platform for, the voices of women everywhere in the world. We found Lance Richardson’s review of a new book on young Arab women so engrossing because the lives of Muslim women are often a mystery to Westerners; news stories about them usually focus on the restraints their cultures impose on them. The book, reviewed at, seems a useful corrective:  “Katherine Zoepf’s ‘Excellent Daughters’ is the result of hundreds of interviews over ten years, that aim to challenge stereotypes in the Western imagination that Arab women are brainwashed, naive, or simply ‘voiceless victims.'”

Zoepf interviewed people in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates, on subjects as diverse as “driving protests and flight attendants, gender relations and lingerie shopping habits. She once dressed as a Saudi teenage boy in order to learn about ‘numbering,’ a nighttime ritual wherein men chase cars filled with girls “hoping for some brief interaction, a smile, or even a phone number.’” READ MORE


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