This study provides a comparative analysis of various emerging spaces of creativity, self-discovery and transformation, as portrayed in six contemporary Arab womens texts: Ahdaf Soueifs In the Eye of the Sun, Leila Ahmeds A Border Passage fromMoreThis study provides a comparative analysis of various emerging spaces of creativity, self-discovery and transformation, as portrayed in six contemporary Arab womens texts: Ahdaf Soueifs In the Eye of the Sun, Leila Ahmeds A Border Passage from Cairo to America---a Womans Journey, Salwa Bakrs al-Arabah al-Dhahabiyyah la Tasad ila-l-Sama [The Golden Chariot], Fadia Faqirs Pillars of Salt, Riverbends Baghdad Burning, and Ghada Sammans Kawabis Beirut [ Beirut Nightmares].
These primary texts demonstrate a range of pain, loss and displacement: expatriatism and alienation in Soueifs In the Eye of the Sun and Ahmeds A Border Passage, imprisonment in Bakrs The Golden Chariot and Fakirs Pillars of Salt and war in Sammans Beirut Nightmares and Riverbends Baghdad Burning. I argue that the different hardships that the authors and/or protagonists undergo serve as catalysts, spurring the women in these texts to construct alternative spaces that pave the way for the creative transcendence of adversity- at the same time, the transformative spaces which the women create become springboards for social transformation as well.
In other words, the stories of the authors and/or protagonists in these texts are never merely personal- they traverse the private sphere to incorporate broader issues that, according to their authors, must become part of a national and even global dialogue. These broader issues include, but are not limited to, justice, modernization, the environment, gender equality, and transnational dialogue.