Leila AHmed: From Cairo to Aerica

Leila Ahmed grew up in the 1940's and 50's in a respected and wealthy family in Cairo, Egypt. Her father, an engineer and her mother, a passionate housewife, had shaped her life form the very beginning of her childhood. Her father was a responsible government servant and politically active citizen. His imperturbable stance agianst Nasser, the Egyptian democratic leader turned dictator, led to persecutions that brought havoc and misery to their lives. She lived through the end of colonialism of Egypt, rise of Arab nationalism and the religious transofrmations. A Border Passage is the acoount of her life starting from the Ain Shams, her childhood home, to the University of Massachussettes, Amherst in United States of America. She potrayed her journey thorugh conservative society of the socialist Egypt, in her autobiography in a language that "vividly evokes the lush summers of her Cairo youth and the harsh barrennedd of the Arabian desert." (Ahmed, i)
Leila Ahmed's childhood was not limited in playing with rag-dolls and going to school. She was awarded responsibilities from the very beginning of her youth. Her family was pro-active about her future, so she was allowed to pursue her education. For 3 decades Egypt had been a democracy, until Egyptian Revolution of 1952 drovve out the governing class. As Ahmed recalls, organizations like The Muslim Brotherhood were very active against the British ruling. Drawing it's political inspiration not from the West, but from the Soviet Union, it turned into a socialist state under the ruler Gamal Abder Nasser – the leader of the revolution. Under Nasser's early leadershipm, the revolutionary officers made major domestic changes- land reform, expansiopn of educational and health servfices. They signed the 1954 Anglo-Egyuptian agrements, to evacuate British forces from the Suez Canal (Goldschmidt, 154). Egypt during that period was all about anti-imperialist…


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