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Posted On: 12 April 2009 09:56 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Women who broke down the barriers

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Renowned female Arab writers and poets from the “most restricted countries” agreed that creativity thrives in a free environment, recounting how they have struggled against barriers to forge successful creative careers. They were speaking at the first intellectual seminar of the Doha Freedom and Creativity Festival launched on Thursday. Yemeni poet Hoda Ballan explained how Yemeni female writers emerged from a society with strict restrictions regarding religion, politics and sexuality, to command respect for their work. She said most Yemeni creative female writers had gone through tough experiences, like early marriage. They raised feminist issues such as women’s right to decide about their own lives and to express their opinion. Saudi female poet Ashjan Hindi said creative women were an asset to their societies, pointing out that men played an important role in supporting and encouraging them. Tunisian actress Jalila Bakkar spoke about her nationalist theatre experience. She said that some 30 years ago a play was banned by the Tunisian government but the ban was lifted after six months of strikes and protests.