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I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  429 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Joumana Haddad is angry. She finds the West’s portrayal of Arab women appalling and the image projected by many Middle Eastern women infuriating. “Being an Arab today means you need to be a hypocrite,” Haddad boldly states. “We constantly and obsessively think about sex but dare not talk about it.” In I Killed Scheherazade, Haddad challenges prevalent notions of Arab woman ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Well it was exhilarating, but ideologically questionable, like futurist art or, maybe, de Sade, of whom Haddad is a huge fan...

I agree with her that difference is our collective wealth. I agree with her about lots of other things too. Still, I felt there was a lot of victim-blaming going on, and while I am out for defences of femininity, I found Haddad's a bit problematic since she waxes lyrical about beauty inside and out and confides 'hairy armpits are a no-no'. Never claiming feminism, she in
Ahmad Al-Maaini
Nov 05, 2011 Ahmad Al-Maaini rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
لديّ اهتمام قديم بالخِطاب النسوي، وبالقضايا النسوية، وبما تكتبه كاتبات مثل (نوال السعداوي) و (فاطمة المرنيسي) على سبيل المثال، أو حتى من رائدات الكتابة النسوية في الغرب مثل (جيرمين غرير). لذلك كان من المتوقع أن يستحوذ كتاب (جمانة حداد) الجديد "هكذا قتلتُ شهرزاد: اعترافات امرأة عربية غاضبة" على اهتمامي. الكتاب صدر أولا باللغة الإنجليزية عام 2010 ثم توالت الترجمات بلغات كثيرة منها العربية قبل عدة أسابيع عن دار الساقي. يتكوّن الكتاب من عشرة مقالات أو فصول قصيرة، في 190 صفحة من القطع المتوسط.

تقول جم
Iqbal Al-Zirqi
Aug 09, 2012 Iqbal Al-Zirqi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book was full of the author herself, and her own life. Did not get anything new regarding the situation of women in Middle east, and all what was said in this book was old news for me!!
Lila Lamrabet
Though I think this is an incredibly important and necessary book, I did find it to be a tad disappointing. This is partly because of the incredibly high expectations that I had for it. This can be summed up by the fact that when my friends saw me reading it, they said that it "sounded like [me] in book form" and that instead of reading it, they would just listen to me go on my usual rants. So yeah, there were expectations.

If I could re-write the title, I'd call it "the convoluted rant of a self
Laala Alghata
"To be a woman writer in an Arab country means to impose strict self-censorship, a thousand times harsher than any official censorship imposed from the outside" - Joumana Haddad, I Killed Scheherazade.

Joumana Haddad is an award-winning Lebanese poet, translator, journalist and women's rights activist.

I Killed Scheherazade is a collection of essays, each leading off the previous one and touching on topics such as sexuality, exploration, erotic poetry, feelings of alienation, atheism and saying no
جمانة حداد قتلت شهرزاد..أيجب أن أكون مسرورة بهذا الفعل ؟هل تمثل شهرزاد المرأة العربية لا أظن فحسب معرفتي فهي فارسية فهل تمثل المرأة المسلمة لا اظن فلو كانت فشهريار ليس مسلما هل الاسلام يبيح قتل الزوجات؟ لست مسرورة و لا حزينة للأن شهرزاد لا تعنيني في شيء فهي شخصية من شخصيات الأدب لم و لن تؤثر في في شيء و لم يكن لها أن تأخذ هذا الاشعاع الا بالفكر الغربي المكبوت و المتخم بالعهر المتعصب الذي يرانا نحن النساء العربيات في شهرزاد فلما أقتلها أذن و هي لم تمس في هويتي شيء ..و لمن لا يعرف هويتي كامرأة عرب ...more
Ribal Haj
When I picked up this book, I had expected an educated analysis of the women conditions in the Arab world. I'd heard of Joumana from ALJASAD, of which I used to be a regular reader. So her name stroke me as revolution starting. I did not, however, expect the self-absorbed ranting around which the book mainly revolves.

I say ranting for several reasons, most importantly because the book only complains about the obvious. Yes, we are a patriarchal society. Yes, women need to rise up. Yes, there shou
Nov 08, 2012 Sus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by this book.. Both the content as well as the flow did not succeed in capturing me. Joumana has a lot of good and interesting ideas that I relate to very well, however the flow was a bit haphazard with no clear transition from one topic to the other. Also, she should have been less self centered and focused a bit more on the issues that the majority of Arab women are struggling with today. Overall, a light and easy read.
Jun 13, 2012 M. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
هكذا قتلتُ شهرزاد عباره عن 190 صفحة من التناقض

نبدأ اول شي بالمقدمة
دايم مقدمات جمانة حداد طويلة بشكل ممل
على الرغم ان مقدمة هذا الكتاب 30 صفحة , حسيتها 100 صفحة من الملل

حاولت وانا اقرا كتابها ان اصير متقبله لكل شي مختلف بس انصدمت لجرئتها اللي احيانا تصير وقاحة
اول شيء مستخدمه مصطلحات لا تليق بانسان "مثقف" والسبب اللي خلاني احط كلمة مثقف بين قوسين لان بين كل فصل وفصل تركز على انها هي المرأه العربية المثقفة والذي منه

وغير المصطلحات الوقحة كان تطاولها على الله غير مقبول
اللي لاحظته من كتبها هي هو
Nov 21, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it
Not as angry as I expected, this quasi-memoir reflects on what it means to be an Arab woman in this day and age. The entire book centers on Ms. Haddad’s life and experiences, and while she’s a pretty fascinating person, there were places in the book where I felt that her life and, by extension, her opinions and beliefs, drastically differ from those of most “average” Arab women. That’s not a knock on the book, as it is thought-provoking and worth a read. It’s merely to point out that this book i ...more
Sep 07, 2012 Jumana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"حجر فوق حجر وأنا امرأة عربية تمشي على طريق. والجدار بيني وبيني ولا منفذ في الأفق".
قد لا تعترف جمانة حداد بمدى إحباطها من الواقع العربي والكم الهائل من التابوهات التي واجهاتها . لكنها عبرت عنه بنبرة غاضبه وكأنها تخلصت من ثقل وعقدة في حاجبيها في آخر صفحة بالكتاب.
محبطة من النساء العربيات الخاضعات لتابوهات صنعها المجتمع والدين الذي يجعل منها اقل إنسانية من الذكور ...وكذلك عبرت عن استقلاليتها كأنثى دون اي غضب من الذكور كما فعلت كثير من المناديات بحقوق المرأة وهذا اكثر ما أعجبني في كتابها.

ذكرني عر
Farah Aridi
I seem unable to describe this book. I am speechless, overwhelmed, proud!!! No one could have said it better. Haddad turns her anger into a masterpiece, and speaks (though never claims to) for every woman who feels like her and believes in similar choices and dogmas. I salute her efforts and I have to humbly admit that I have not read a good book by an Arab woman, a Lebanese woman, nonetheless in quite a long time. Joumana Haddad is one such woman.
Feb 22, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a stunning, startling, offputting (in a good way) read leaving me angry and inspired all at once.

I read this all in one sitting, which perhaps wasn't the best idea as I felt Haddad's voice started to drag a little towards the end and the essays ran together. I think this is the kind of book where it's best to read one chapter in one sitting, let it sink in, and come back for more, as each essay packs a powerful punch in itself.
May 31, 2015 aj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism-etc
If I were designing an undergraduate introduction to Middle East studies, I would assign this as first day reading. Not to say that it's in any way comprehensive- however it's the most approachable interrogation of Western assumptions on women of the Middle East, and also demonstrates the necessity of internal criticism of culture.

In the introduction, Haddad relates a conversation in which she angrily informs a foreign journalist "I don't think I'm that exceptional." She makes that point clear i
Mar 19, 2013 Maya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هادئة وعاقلة في الظاهر، ومشاغبة في الرأس والباطن: وديعة وحنونة واستقلالية ومغناج، لكني أتحوّل إلى لبوة شرسة إذا ما تطاول أحدهم على حقّي أو جرحني. حساسة جداً وقوية وصلبة في آن واحد.
Nour Al-Hassanieh
كتاب رائع يحرّض المرأة على الحريّة
Sep 19, 2015 E DB rated it liked it
This made a strange read. I did enjoy many of the personal reflections, and much of the political content (including treatment of "feminine work" as work), but parts of it also rubbed me the wrong way: Haddad dismisses other people's point that she wouldn't have written this work if she were Muslim. I agree with that dismissal, but she never addresses the spectral point beyond it: that she might never have gained her privileged position (from which she can write this work) had she not been born ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Sandrine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
Joumana Haddad was born in Beyrouth in 1970 in a Catholic family. She is in charge of the cultural pages in the first lebanese daily newspaper, An-Nahar, this is a first time for woman in the arabic world. She publishes the magazine Jasad that she created in 2009. This is the first erotic magazine in the arabico-muslim world, dedicated to the body and which provoked a resounding scandal. The magazine presents investiguations about polygamie, virginity or forced marriage, as well as erotic novels ...more
Isham Cook
Nov 23, 2012 Isham Cook rated it it was amazing
Joumana Haddad is a writer, poet and intellectual who celebrates the liberation of the body in her native Arabic and as well in remarkably fluent English, French, German, Italian, Armenian and Spanish. In terms of her linguistic capacity's reach, sexual freedom has never had a more effective and articulate spokeswoman (or should we say spokesman?) than this amazing polyglot. "I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman" is a quick-read in the tradition of political pamphlets such a ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Da277 rated it did not like it
I pre-ordered this book because the reviews made it out to be a page turner. It was a huge, huge disappointment for me. First of all, I expected a thick hard cover and it turned out to be a 160 page, cliff notes size book. Secondly, I knew as soon as I read the note to reader this would be a disappointment. I should have hopped in the car and taken it right back to B&N and requested a refund. It's too vague and ethereal, seems to go on and on about poetry and really does not delve deep enoug ...more
Aug 12, 2014 Semnebune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ce știm noi despre lumea arabă în general și despre femeia arabă în special? În principiu clișee luate de prin filme, reviste, reportaje televizate sau propagandă. Terorism, lume închisă, putere, petrol, bani, religie, extremism, legi sacre, supunere. Femeia arabă este inferioară bărbatului, trebuie să își poarte chipul acoperit, are de suferit. Asta cred că ar răspunde orice om fără să stea prea mult pe gânduri. O mai știm și pe Șeherezada și ale ei 1001 de nopți.

Joumana Haddad ne spune o altă
Jan 25, 2012 Boriana rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Disappointing. I was expecting a lot more. The author is a little too much in love with herself. She seems to be speaking down to the average Westerner, who would see Arab women only as silent, veiled and oppressed. I know that is not the case, so am probably not the intended target audience.
Apr 12, 2012 Rania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mainly rated it with 4 stars as I think she really has got the balls to say whatever she said. However, it is true. It should have been more angry and less self-centered. She discussed her life too much and could have analyzed many "schizophrenic" aspects of the Arab societies instead.
Jan 25, 2012 Melanie rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
Brutal!!! The author is mediocre at best...self centered, arrogant, and pointless. She writes like a wannabe philosopher but just embarrasses herself. I was hoping for something insightful and ended up just wanting to stick a sock in her mouth. Don't waste your time or money...
Jul 09, 2013 Ayeshah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"A British journalist called her “the Carrie Bradshaw of Beirut,” and she admits to a passion for in-home manicures, Italian shoes and handbags"


I hate Carrie Bradshaw -_- & I have a feeling I won't like this! but let's see how it goes..
Dec 17, 2011 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essais
Présentation claire et efficace des positions d'une "femme arabe". Elle tord littéralement le cou aux préjugés et clichés tant de l'Occident et de l'Orient dans cet essai à recommander à tous ceux qui souhaitent un regard neuf sur ce monde.
Badr Aleissa
Sep 02, 2012 Badr Aleissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
فائض من الالحاد ومهاجمة الاديان كل مافي الامر امراه عربية خرجت عن المألوف مما اذع صيتها وخاصة من ناحية الغرب
اعتقد لو تقراه الكاتبة من جديد تستطيع تلخيصه في 30 صفحة ..الافكار تعاد بشكل متكرر

كلمة حق
*ككتابه متميزة
Sep 27, 2012 Muna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and powerful book and writer.
I very much liked the part where she killed Scheherazade, the part where I understood where the naming came from. Very non-conventional !
Jul 02, 2012 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God, I couldn't wait for this book to end. So disappointing: I was hoping to find something to get my femrage on. Instead, it was near-unreadable self-indulgent pap.
Jan 05, 2014 Mekita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book didn’t live up to its interesting title. I was intrigued when I first saw it. Scheherazade’s name is universally recognisable as a cunning storyteller who prolonged her life by telling long complicated stories to men. For another Arab woman to use her name and claim her murder in the title immediately invites attention. The back cover is also inviting: “it takes genius to attain such radical freedom”; “a very courageous and illuminating book”, “Joumana Haddad is a poet who inhabits the ...more
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Joumana Haddad (جمانة حداد) is a Lebanese poet, translator, journalist and women rights activist.

She’s been selected as one of the world’s 100 most powerful Arab women in March 2014 by CEO magazine Middle East (position 62), for her cultural and social activism.

She is head of the Cultural pages for "An Nahar" newspaper, and an instructor of creative writing at the Lebanese American University in B
More about Joumana Haddad...

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“Surviving war is an excellent training process. If it weren't so brutal, I 'd recommend it as an excellent start-up course in life. I feel that over years of endurance, hard work and perseverance of determination and conviction, of claiming our rights to stay alive, to be free and to be ourselves, of fighting the biggest wars as much as the smaller ones, our will can indeed move mountains for us.” 7 likes
“متى تقفز من شرنقتها وتتحوّل فراشة شرسة تحفر طريقها بأظافرها الناعمة والحادة في آن واحد؟” 6 likes
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