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Conclusion: The Arab Family Demystified

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Chapter Summary

When the book The Story of Zahra came out in 1980 it caused such an uproar that it was banned in several Arab countries. Despite being banned, the book enjoyed a wide circulation and was translated into many languages. In removing the veil of silence that shrouds the most traditional social institution in Arab life, Arab women writers venture into a forbidden territory: the private, sexual, political, and religious. Leila Ahmed's memoir, A Border Passage, illustrates how hard it is for a daughter to rid herself of matrophobic feelings and come to terms with her mother. In highlighting the flaws in the fabric of family life and their effects on family members and family dynamics, especially the mother-daughter bond, these writers dispel popular myths. Three of these myths are discussed here. The myriad literary texts presented show that the traditional Arab family is currently the focus of rapid social change.

Keywords: Arab family; matrophobic feelings; The Story of Zahra



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