Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki
Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World

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If you are after a thoroughgoing scholarly treatment, look elsewhere. But Dr El Feki's position as a western-educated female Muslim, both insider and outsider...gives the book an invaluable perspective and a different kind of authority.
-Guardian

Synopsis

**Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)**

If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.
 
As political change sweeps the streets and squares, the parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at an upheaval a little closer to home—in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful, and engaging account of a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society.
 
Sex is entwined in religion, tradition, politics, economics, and culture, so it is the perfect lens through which to examine the complex social landscape of the Arab world. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the sexual history of the region and brings new voices to the debate over its future.
 
This is no peep show or academic treatise but a highly personal and often humorous account of one woman’s journey to better understand Arab society at its most intimate and, in the process, to better understand her own origins. Rich with five years of groundbreaking research, Sex and the Citadel gives us a unique and timely understanding of everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing before our eyes.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Shereen El Feki

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SHEREEN EL FEKI is a writer, broadcaster, and academic who started her professional life in medical science before going on to become an award-winning journalist for The Economist and a presenter at Al Jazeera English. She is former vice-chair of the U.N.'s Global Commission on HIV and Law, and a TED Global Fellow. She divides her time between London and Cairo.
 
Published March 12, 2013 by Anchor. 370 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Sex and the Citadel
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Apr 07 2013

Though “Sex and the Citadel” works well enough as a general survey, it lacks the thoughtfulness to reconcile all the contradictory sexual attitudes it describes.

Read Full Review of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Faramerz Dabhoiwala on Mar 06 2013

If you are after a thoroughgoing scholarly treatment, look elsewhere. But Dr El Feki's position as a western-educated female Muslim, both insider and outsider...gives the book an invaluable perspective and a different kind of authority.

Read Full Review of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate... | See more reviews from Guardian

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Ted on Mar 08 2013

“if you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms.” And this is essentially what the author sets about doing: attempting to understand the Arab world by inquiring into its shifting and steadfast approaches to sex.

Read Full Review of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

The Economist

Good
on Mar 30 2013

Ms El Feki has talked to experts, pored over statistics and picked through history, gathering a wealth of information.

Read Full Review of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate... | See more reviews from The Economist

Reader Rating for Sex and the Citadel
75%

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