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Arab Women Firsts

May 30, 2011 5:01 by



Leila Abouzeid is the first female Moroccan writer to be translated into English. She peculiarly wrote in Arabic and not the French language, which was preferred by her Moroccan peers at the time. Born in 1950, she went to college in the US before she began her career as a print and radio journalist, then segued into work as a press assistant in government ministries and the prime minister’s office.

Her first novel Year of the Elephant chronicles events, including divorce, the struggle against poverty and conflict between family members, which were common themes in contemporary Moroccan literature. In her work, stories are often presented from the eyes of a woman.



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