Laila Abou-Saif, Ph.D.
Arab Media Expert

Published by Summit Books, 1985

Second Edition, Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago: 1995

Published by Charles Scribner and Son, New York: 1990

"Creating A Theatre of the Poor at Wekalat al-Ghouri in Cairo", The Literary Review,London: June,l982.

e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
Very brief description goes here
This article describes the critique of polygamy in the famous novel by Taha Hussein,the internationally known blind novelist of Egypt.
This article traces the manifestations of comedy and drama in the Near East since ancient Egyptian times,through the sixties. An important source for researchers.
This article documents Rihani's rise from the comic cabaret skits of the early twenties to his full blown social comedy of the late forties.
"Honest, Irresistible."
--Gloria Steinem
Nonfiction/Middle East Politics
"The pages emit the heat, dust, and calls from Cairo's minarets, making the book a worthy acquistion."

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This website consists of articles,essays,columns and interviews,which reflect the authors experiences,after September 2oll.

This material will be published under the title"Radicalized"in the forthcoming future.

Febuary 9.20l6

The Syrian Refugees. The Voyage of the Damned.

When they are not drowning in the Agean on the coast of Greece,they are being concentrated in "camps"in Switzerland,where their money is being confiscated by the Swiss authorities...Staravtion is common in the Balkans,and now,hundreds and thousands of Syrians are waiting to be let into Turkey,whose border with Syria remains closed.
Is this human tragedy about to be resolved.Apparantly not.Meanwhile the suffering of women and children is a daily torture scene.

November 25.20l5. The Syrian Refugees.To-day,they represent an image of the Arabs,which is so tragic,that it cannot be described.Moreover,recent events in Paris-terrorist attacks-have made their entry ito Europe,even more difficult,The land of socialism,and compassion,Sweden,is closing its borders.Incredibel.And,as Americans sit down to their voluptuous meals at thanksgiving-the United States,not al of it ,but some areas-are banning the entry of Arabs.For instance,Arizona,will refuse four hundred refugees.

This is an abomination.

The Arab Diaspora.

October 2l.Berkasovo.This is the name of a village on Serbia's border,with Croatia.These countried were established in the nineties after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.I imagine,that Belgrade,the cultural and architectural heart of southern Europe,once the capital of Yugoslavia-si not to far away from this village,where Syrian and other Arab and Afghani refugees,were made to stand in the rain for twenty four hours,bogged down in mud,without food or water.The world is witnessing this horror.
But it continues.According to the Japan Times,as they waited to cross,the only food the refugees could find,were nutscould find,were nuts.

We do not know the casualties of this journey.They,thousands of them,crossed by land from Macedonia into the Balkans,where this place in Serbia,exists.Serbia is a wealthy place,famous for its nightlife-its floating discos and restaurants on the Danube.

And yet-they do not welcome these Syrians and Arabs.I think that the image of the Arans and particularly-the refugees fromSyria-is so tarnished,that Europe has forgottten that these are the descendants of the Babylonian cvilization.The refugees,when asked,on camera,always say they came to Europe looking for a better life.Actually they are fleeing a war zone,created by the western powers,including the United States, which is still conducting air strikes over Syria.As is the Soviet Union.

The images of these men,women and children,resembles the concentration camps one sees in Hollywood movies-indeed,in Croatia,they were wired into detention camps.

One cannot comprehend,why the west is having such a difficult time,integrating these Arabs?Is this a form of racism?Maybe.
Meanwhile,according to PBs,the flood of people continues to arrive in Lesbos-the Greek island.And,even there ,lodging,and food are almost on-existant..From Greece to Croatia-a perilous journey on foot,with no hope for a better life.

One is often asked:why don't the Arabs take them in?They do not want to stay in the Arab world,because they looked up to Europe-as a place of the highest civilization.

October l8.20i5.

Egypt's parliamentary elections.

Voting has commenced in Egypt -for a new,non Islamic parliament.Ths very fact that it will not be dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood-is a step forward.The Brotherhood,ousted in 20l3,was replaced by the army strongman,Abdel Fatah al-Sissi..
He is,first and foremost a military man,and was the attache in Saudi Arabia-a post to which he was appointed by Mohammed Mursi himself.This is not the kind of man who will rig elections or use parliament to consolidate his power.But,already,he is coming under attack-especially by al-Jazeera,as well as others,who have type cast him as a pseudo Mubarak.

He isn't.There are now twenty seven million people eligible to vote.We read that the turnout is small.Let us not forget that there are now one hundred million people living in Egypt-many or most in dire circumstances.The challenge that faces this new rais-is not democracy or parliamentary protocol-but stability and the economy.

This website contains articles and books relating the Arab view point on American policy in the middle east, the status of women, Arab society and mores, the Arab Israeli conflict and the condition of being Arab in America.

See Home page for updated articles.Present Articles,amd former books.

Book Review.
"A Bridge Through Time: A Memoir", by Laila Said (Summit Books, $17.95). "I couldn't say no to the promise of freedom. But how hard it is to take that road. How painful freedom can be."

"A Bridge Through Time" recounts the pain and the exhilaration of Laila Said's escape from the middle-class Egyptian society of the 1950's and 1960's and the forging of a new
though distant relationship with her homeland.

In many ways, it is a familiar story: the obligatory betrothal to a man she does not love; the mediating presence of a mentor - her father, in this case - who helps her delay the inevitable marriage while she completes her education; the widening gap between Said and her husbandy that culminates in divorce, her struggle to define herself and her work as a stage director and filmmaker.

But this typical liberation story offers more. Played out against a backdrop of more than 20 years of Arab-Israeli conflict, and the struggle for peace in the Middle East, the book captures the frustration of being exposed to the hundreds of indignities - great and small - that attend the life of women everywhere, and encapsulates Egyptian women's struggle for rights that American women took for granted even before the Women's Movement began.

Her admiration for the America Women's Movement and the women who helped make it happen (Gloria Steinem, Phyllis Chesler, and others figure prominently in later chapters) seems at first tinged with naïve awe of feminist personalities, but that awe gives way to mature respect as the book continues. Said ends her memoir in semi-exile from her native land, after several advances and retreats from Egyptian life chronicled throughout the book. But she also closes with the impassioned challenge to the world's women to cross the boundaries of color, class, and culture, and asks us to remember the goals that all women share.

It is her commitment to those goals, and her vivid portrait of a culture alien in most American women, that shines through in "A Bridge Through Time", and reminds us of the often tortuous path to freedom.
-Roseklmay L. Bray, MS. Magazine, November 1985.

Articles Written after Sept.ll.200l.

The Egyptian Revolutiom.
Turmoil and Rage in the Arab World. June 8, 2011.
Image of the Arab, Part 4, Cairo Time. August 4, 2011. A Film Review.
The Trial of Mubark. August 3, 2011.
The Burning of the Israeli Flag at Tahrir Square in Cairo. August 19, 2011.
The Fall of the Libyan Regime. August 30, 2011.
About Town (Tucson). August 13, 2011.
Demonstrations Against Israel. September 3, 2011.
Tragedy for the Copts at Egypt. October 10, 2011.
The Slaughter of Quddafi in Libya. October 26, 2011.
The Jasmin Revolution and After. October 26, 2011.
The Rafah Crossing Revisited.
Let Us Save Egypt. November 2, 2011.
What Happened to the Arab Spring?
The Election in Egypt. December 6, 2011.

Women Protest Police Violence in Cairo. December 22, 2011.
Trouble in Gaza. January 19, 2012.
"The Society for the Muslim Brothers"-A Retrospective Look at Richard Mitchell's Classic Work on the Muslim Brotherhood. January 23, 2012.
The Real Revolution of the Arab world-Media. March 7, 2012.
Outside the Law. Film Review. Algerian Film 2010.
Violence in Gaza. March 18, 2012.
Historical Interview with Dr. Madil al Arabi, Head of the Arab League (Published in Middle East Journal, New York: Vantage Press, 2002). March 23, 2012.
Turmoil and Rage in Egypt. April 24, 2012.
Arizona Immigration Law. April 24, 2012.

An Egyptian in the United States

A Racial Incident at a Tucson Health Resort-Lowe's Ventana Canyon. November 9, 2009.
The Fort Hood Tragedy. November 11, 2009.
Gaza Revisited. November 18, 2009.
The Release of Roman Polanski. December 2009.

April 12, 2010 Senate Bill 1070 AZ.
The Arizona Immigration Bill. The Opinion of the Outside World. April 30, 2010.
Flowers from Israel. January 22, 2010.
The Stalemate on the Peace Talks. March 2010.
The Peace Flotilla. March 2010.
Violence Between COPTS and Muslems. January 6, 2010.
The Transformation of the Arab Media and the Upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Egypt. November 23, 2010.
Ghost Writer. A Film Review. May 28, 2010.
The Fallout in Egypt from the Nov. 28 Elections. December 5, 2010.
The First Day of the Eid. November 16, 2010.
Strife between Christians and Muslims. November 9, 2010.
A Tribute to Hosni Mubarak. July 27, 2010.
Islamophobia Revisited. December 19, 2010.
The Peace Talks. December 7, 2010.

Egypt Before the Revolution
The Revolution in Egypt. January 30, 2011.
Carnage in Tucson. January 8, 2011.
The Fall of Mubarak. February, 2011.
The Assassination of Usama Bin Laden. March 3, 2011.
Cairo's Time. A Film Review. 2011.

American Foreign Policy in the Near East: Method or Madness. May 19, 2011.
Publications since 2001 (see articles on this website):

Moslem Extremism and Iraq, 3/​25/​03.
The New Klu Klux Klan, 6/​18/​04.
Timing is Everything, 10/​8/​04.
Becoming an Arab under the Bush Administration, 5/​15/​04.
Jailers Knew Exactly How to Degrade Arabs, 5/​17/​04, New Haven Register.
Aboughraib-A Theatrical Play, 8/​24/​04.
The Road of Women in the Middle East Conflict, 8/​15/​04.
The New Klu Klux Klan, 5/​17/​04.
Unrest in the Coptic Quarter, June 2005.
The Road to 9/​11, Image of the Arab, 10/​6/​06.
The Pet Cemetery of Tucson: For White Dogs Only, 9/​1/​06.
Anger and Revolt in the Muslim world the Victory of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, February 2006.
Remembering Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian Novelist, 9/​5/​06.
Turmoil in the Egyptian Press, 11/​9/​07.
Democracy in Egypt, 6/​13/​07.
Blood in Gaza, 6/​14/​07.
Barbie Doll Syndrome, 2007.
The Entertainer, a Political Play, January 2007.
Garden of Allah, film review 2/​4/​07.
Babel. A Film Review, 2/​24/​07.
Image of the Arabs II, 10/​15/​07.
About Gloria Steinem, 3/​28/​08.

Gaza Journal, 12/​27-28-29/​08 and others.
The Wearing of the Veil, at the Heart of Turkish Politics, 7/​30/​08.
The Fourth Anniversary of the Death of the Palestinian Leader Yasir Arafat, 11/​11/​08.
The Terror in Mumbay, 12/​2/​08.
Image of the Muslims-Pakistan, 10/​31/​08.
The Egyptian Cinema, 9/​1/​08.
Is Feminism Dead?, 6/​6/​08
Gaza Journal, January 2009
Obama in Egypt, 6/​4/​09
Islamophobia, 7/​15/​09
The Egyptian Cinema Bab al-Hadid, 1958. A Retrospective Look, 9/​18/​09

Autographed 'first edition' available ($150), published by Summit Books, 1985

"Egyptian Author Defies Tradition" by Esther B. Fein, "New York Times", June 1985

Review of "A Bridge Through Time"

Najib al-Rihani and the Development of comedy in Egypt.Madbouli Press,Cairo.2004

A Bridge Through Time
Laila Said's struggle to become a modern woman in Egypt during the past three decades.

Excerpted from the book:

"When we arrived at the large, sunny terrace of the hotel overlooking the pyramids of Giza, there was a wide circle of formally dressed people waiting for us. The men were dressed in dark suits and silk ties, and the women wore cashmere sweaters, expensive sunglasses, and jewelry that glittered in the sun."

Middle East Journal: A Woman's Journey into the Heart of the Arab World
This series of interviews and journal entries presents a revealing look at the Arab intellectual community and its views on Islamic extremism, the Arab Palestinian conflict and democracy in the Arab world.

Abou-Saif, Laila, Middle East Journal: A Woman's Journey into the Heart of the Arab World. Mar 1990. 320p. Scribner, $21.95 (0-684-19136-9). Gallery.

"An expatriate Egyptian returns to her country's riverine lifeline to tell Americans "why Arabs feel the way they do." The vehicle she chooses -- about 40 interviews loosely linked by a diary -- carries the news that they are concerned with religion, Anwar Sadat's legacy, the U.S. role in the region, and the conflict with Isreal. Of her interlocutors, drawn chiefly from fellow members of the professions, Najib Mahfous, holder of the the 1988 Nobel Prize in literature, and Zeinab al-Ghazzali, a veiled Islamic fundamentalist, are particularly elequent. Do their views also animate the populace at large? Unfortunately there are no person-in-the-bazaar interviews to give us a clue, but there is one with Yassir Arafat, whom the author compares not with a liberator figure, but with Napoleon! Still, the pages emit the heat, dust, and calls from Cairo's minarets, making the book a worthy aquisition."
-- Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

Abou-Saif, Laila. Middle East Journal. Scribner, $21.95

"This series of interviews and journal entries presents a revealing look a the Arab intellectual community and its views on Sadat, Camp David, American cultural influences, and the PLO's claims. Useful as background reading on the Middle East crisis for good students."
-- Candace Smith

"Complex relationships among Isreal, Egypt, the Palestinians an the United States are explored with personal insight by Lalia Abou-Saif, Ph. D. '69, an Egyptian by birth, in her recent book, "Middle East Journal: A Woman's Journey into the HEart of the Arab World" (Charles Scribners Sons). 1990

"Abou-Saif enlisted the trust of a wide variety of Middle Easterners including Yassir Arafat, because she is one of them. She readily translates their thoughts and feelings for westerners in a way they can understand because she has lived and taught in America." - Choice Magazine