Document Type : Specialized scientific research papers


Painting department, Faculty of Fine Arts - Helwan University, Cairo



In conservative societies, including Oriental countries, one can say that women are one of the main concerns of the conservatives; the woman in Oriental societies, especially with religious tendencies, represents a kind of 'sacred privacy'. With such peculiarity, the image of Oriental but Muslim women in particular in the eyes of Western artists has been a controversial topic through modern and contemporary art history, colonialism, as well as contemporary media where visual language is used, especially when the Muslim woman representation seems to be embarrassing, offensive or stereotyped. 
As an Oriental insider woman, the researcher aims to discuss this controversial issue; within a self-reflection essay, she will discuss and attempt to answer the raised questions through an artistic, social, analytical and critical approach. The aim is to present different perspectives, bring them closer together, and clarify the ambiguities in understanding the other, in order to reach a different middle perspective and to contribute to creating better chances for coexistence between East and West in a world that is supposed to be one.


Main Subjects

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Edward W. Saïd. Two books: (1978) Orientalism, Pantheon books, USA; (1985) Orientalism
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Nour, Zeinab. (2017). Reflections of Feminism in Contemporary Mural Painting between Occidental and Oriental societies.
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Additional contributing references to the deconstruction of Western stereotypes about the Muslim or Oriental woman
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Also, (1994). Dreams of Trespass: Tales of A Harem Girlhood), Basic Books. And, (2001). Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems. Washigton Square Press.
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Additional references and resources about feminist Cinema in the Middle East
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25 Iconic Photos of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution Egyptian Streets. (2016, January)
Arab Spring makes region poorer. The Daily Star. (2013, January)
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Behind the Veil: Islam as a Political Identity in the Works of Contemporary Women Artists. Savanna Morrison.
Sport and 'hijab'. Reem Abulleil  - (2020, June). The National News site
Private collection of the researcher ©Zeinab Nour
Iranian Exile Shirin Neshat’s New Exhibition Expresses the Power of Art to Shape Political Discourse. Menachem Wecker . (2015, May).
Same last reference link.