Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi dies aged 89


The multi-talented Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi has died at the age of 89, according to local media.

The renowned feminist author, activist, physician and psychiatrist had been transferred to hospital after complications arising from an illness, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.

El Saadawi was a prolific author, with dozens of titles to her name, and has been previously referred to as the “Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world”. It’s a nickname she’s said to have disliked, saying “I’m much more radical than her”, according to Egypt Today.

Her books have spanned many feminist subjects and she is also the subject of the filmShe Spoke the Unspeakable, broadcast in the BBC One TV seriesImagine.

She has founded a number of organisations, including the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, the Arab Association for Human Rights, as well as the Health Education Association and the Egyptian Women Writers’ Association.

As a doctor, she held a number of prestigious positions, such as director-general of the Health Education Department for Cairo’s Ministry of Health, and edited Health Magazine and the Medical Association Magazine.

With a number of prizes and accolades to her name, including the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, El Saadawi also has honorary degrees on three continents.

Fans were quick to mourn the loss on social media, with one user writing on Twitter: “Dr Nawal El Saadawi just passed away. At the time Middle Eastern women are facing so much on a daily basis.”

Another user described it as a “big loss for Egyptian women”.

The national

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