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Four Women of Egypt
A film by Tahani Rached
Canada/Egypt, 1997, 90 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W99629
Amina Rachid was raised in a non-religious, Westernized, aristocratic household before embracing Socialism and fighting for social justice. Another deeply committed activist, Shahenda Maklad, a Muslim, was a student demonstrator in Egypt’s national movement who lost her husband to a political assassination before pursuing political office herself. Her mentor, Wedad Mitry, a devout Christian, is a militant nationalist leader and author. Their friend, Safynaz Kazem, is a political journalist and strict Muslim. These four women are the subject of this impressive documentary exploration of opposing religious, social, and political views in modern-day Egypt.

There is little they agree upon—being Christian, Muslim and atheist—and little they won’t speak out about—yet their friendship endures. Though possessed of widely divergent and often incompatible viewpoints, these women maintain a deep and committed friendship with each other, arguing openly but with extreme tolerance for their differences, and often dispelling tension with hearty laughter. Through their friendship, we learn of the reality behind the Western myth of Egypt. Essential viewing for all interested in the political history of Egypt and women’s lives in the Middle East.


Shot in 35mm, distributed on Video.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
  • Feminale Women’s Film Festival, Köln, Germany
  • Middle Eastern Studies Association Film Festival

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QUOTES

    “Riveting in its veracity, deeply moving in its humanity, this brilliant film captures how women’s lives can be tied to national dreams and how a nation can be built out of friendship and difference. These four compelling women—intellectuals, activists, and friends—will open your eyes to politics, religion, and gender in Egypt. They will also make you laugh and cry.”
    Lila Abu-Lughod
    Columbia University

    “A fascinating conversation among four remarkable women whose long friendship and participation in historical events sets them apart in any society.”
    Martha Sandlin
    International Documentary

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

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