Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Alifa Rifaat (died 1996) was a controversial Egyptian author, whose short stories reflect on the life of traditional Muslim women in rural Egypt. She is an anomaly in the Egyptian literary scene, speaking only Arabic, and having left Egypt only once, to go on the hajj pilgrimage. Her books were translated to English, German, Dutch, and Swedish, among other languages.
As a young woman, Rifaat had hoped to attend university, but this was opposed by her parents, who planned an arranged marriage for her instead. This acceptance of tradition figures prominently in her writing: she continues to embrace her Muslim faith, but is nevertheless critical of how it is implemented with regard to women. Her stories describe the loneliness of purdah, and has gone so far as to call on husbands to respect the sexual needs and desires of their wives. Her perspective, however, is particularly challenging to some fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic traditions because she makes these statements within the context of what she considers to be the Islamic obligation of husbands to their wives, without ever falling under the influence of estern mores and norms.
Another key feature of Rifaat's writing is her vivid depiction of death. She was widowed at the age of (48) and raised three children on her own. Her best-known work in English is Distant View of a Minaret . Alifa Rifaat died in Cairo in January 1996.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details