Nawal Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist. She is one of the most widely translated contemporary Egyptian writers, with her work available in over 30 languages.
In 1972 she published Al-Mar’a wa Al-Jins (Woman and Sex), which became a foundational text of second-wave feminism. As a consequence of the book and her political activities, Saadawi was dismissed from her position as Director at the Ministry of Health in Egypt.
El Saadawi formed the Arab Women's Solidarity Association in 1981. The AWSA was the first legal, independent feminist organization in Egypt.
Long viewed as controversial and dangerous by the Egyptian government, Saadawi was imprisoned in September 1981, along with many other objectors to the Jerusalem Peace Treaty. She was released one month after Sadat's assassination.
In 1988 Saadawi was forced to flee Egypt. She began to teach at Duke University and the University of Washington. She has held positions at a number of prestigious universities including Cairo University, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Sorbonne, Georgetown, Florida State University, and the University of California. In 1996, she moved back to Egypt.