Emire Khidayer

  • Slovenčina (Slovenská republika)
  • English (United Kingdom)



From the beginning when I was exposed to the Arab world and this happened very early, the relations between men and women, which is a protruding topic, particularly in this part of the world, started to interest me enormously. Still as a student in the beginning of the 90s, I discovered the works of a famous Egyptian promoter of human rights, including women´s rights. I am speaking of Nawal El Saadawi. I was touched by her ideas and her feelings. She portrayed what she felt, i.e. injustice, ignorance and blind superstitious beliefs. Her books and stories fairly mirror the Egyptian society. Many Egyptian or Arab critics tagged her as "feminist writer". But feminism in Egypt and Europe are worlds apart. The Egyptian embodiment of feminism fights today for what European women have been enjoying for many decades, for what they fought and deserved. Going out without any family male guide, travelling abroad without a family male guide, having the right to work or simply? having the chance to drive a car - nothing of these is fully applicable to an Arab Muslim woman and Nawal brings these topics forth. Nawal used to live for many years on the edge of society and even she was imprisoned. I was happy to have bought her book “Why keep asking me about my identity?“ just before it was prohibited and retracted from bookshops shelves.

The rebel with heart Nawal El Saadawi has a prominent place in my top-ten of Arab writers and personalities. This is the reason why she has a place in my personal library. At first sight it may not be so visible, but thanks to her, Egyptian society has moved forward. Each society is made up of people who act as catalysts. She is one of them. At least Egyptians have to thank her for what she has done. For having the strength to bear the burden of being different and move the world to a better future I honor her. From Arabic to Slovak I translated two her essays – "Is it not a Cultural Crime?" and "Circumcision, the Black Heritage".


Salama MousaSalama Mousa is an elderly gentleman. He died in the 50s. He was a rebel with heart as well. By the way, I like sage rebels! An Egyptian and at the same time a Copt, an Egyptian Christian orthodox. In his works besides having shown the different approach of Egyptian Muslim establishment towards other religions, he documented the uneven status of women, spoke about the language, psychology and politics. He was twice imprisoned. He published and co-published many social and literary magazines. He was a man of his era. Although his controversially prestigious status in the society, the Arab literature does not pay much attention to him. That was the reason why I chose to discover the soul and spirit of Salama Mousa in my doctoral thesis. He pushed the society forward and for that he has my respect. I translated seven Salama´s essays and stories.


Today I do not translate from Arabic. The Arab society is so distant from the Western value system, that we can hardly understand each other to the fullest and vice versa. Given this situation, I consider highly important to talk about the Arab world in a comprehensible language and to explain its concepts and mindset, including the predominant religion. If I succeed to make such an educational and topological work, then even translations of Arab books will be easier to read and grasp.