* Shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2016*
Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist is the first English translation of the memoirs of Anbara Salam Khalidi, the iconic Arab feminist. At a time when the effects of the revolution and counterrevolution of the Arab Spring loom heavy over Middle Eastern politics, this book brings to life an earlier period of social turmoil and women's activism through one remarkable life.
Anbara Salam was born in 1897 to a notable Sunni Muslim family of Beirut. She grew up in 'Greater Syria', in which unhindered travel and cross-cultural exchange between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus was possible. Her political activities caused countless scandals, from the series of newspaper articles calling on women to fight for their rights within the Ottoman Empire, to removing her veil during a 1927 lecture at the American University of Beirut. In later life she translated Homer and Virgil into Arabic and fled from Jerusalem to Beirut following the establishment of Israel in 1948. She died in Beirut in 1986.
These memoirs have long been acclaimed by Middle East historians as an essential resource for the social history of Beirut and the larger Arab world in the 19th and 20th centuries.