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Is Sadeem Legally Married to Waleed? Islamic Feminism and the Intersection of Culture, Religion, and Gender in Banāt al-Riyāḍ

Department of General Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements, University of Dubai, Dubai P.O. Box 14143, UAE
Societies 2019, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9010004
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Islam)
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Abstract

Rajāʾ al-Ṣāniʿ’s Banāt al-Riyāḍ (2005, Girls of Riyadh) is unique not just for depicting globalization and local culture vis-à-vis the woman issue in Saudi Arabia, but for heralding a new trend of ‘e-epistolary narratives’ in the Saudi Arabian novel. The novel explores issues related to Islamic religious precepts versus Saudi socio-cultural practices and ideologies, especially those related to love and marital relationships as well as the concepts of femininity and masculinity. Most of the reviews and scholarly studies in English have focused more on the novel’s innovative narrative style or medium and its portrayal of the taboos of Saudi Arabia rather than on—and oftentimes, ignoring—its Islamic content and persuasion. This article reads Banāt al-Riyāḍ as an ‘Islamic feminist’ text that represents the extent to which al-Ṣāniʿ has internalized the other—modern western culture and civilization—while at the same time seeking to externalize and highlight the authentic Islamic teachings on women’s rights and gender relations, which have always been both misinterpreted locally and misrepresented globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: Islamic feminism; gender; culture; and religion; Girls of Riyadh; Saudi Arabia Islamic feminism; gender; culture; and religion; Girls of Riyadh; Saudi Arabia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tijani, O.I. Is Sadeem Legally Married to Waleed? Islamic Feminism and the Intersection of Culture, Religion, and Gender in Banāt al-Riyāḍ. Societies 2019, 9, 4.

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