By Mervat F. Hatem (auth.)
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Additional info for Literature, Gender, and Nation-Building in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: The Life and Works of ‵A’isha Taymur
And I became convinced that membership in this group was the most abundant blessing. To satisfy my longing, I would collect any sheets of paper and small pencils and then I would go to a place away from everyone and imitate the writers in their scribe. Hearing the sound of pencil on paper made me happy. When my mother would find me, she would scold and threaten me. 36 The first story Taymur shared with the reader in her book of fictional tales was her own. Her recollection of her childhood indicated that members of her family were collectively engaged in teaching its young girls different things.
As a result, Taymur was caught off guard by the late discovery of Tawhida’s declining health. ”81 So Taymur’s transformation into a public figure had the effect of making Tawhida think of her, not as a mother, but as someone involved in grand endeavors that were more important than the personal or mundane needs of a daughter.
In Taymur’s work of fiction, Nata’ij al-Ahwal, she described the contempt with which black and white slaves were treated within the Egyptian ruling classes. LUKLYHUK5H[PVU)\PSKPUN Ziyada did not discuss the local contempt with which white slave women were held in Egypt at the time, but her comment about Taymur’s mother not being able to comprehend or appreciate her daughter’s wish to learn how to read and write was reflective of this attitude. At the same time, she addressed the Orientalist claim that because many kings in the region married their freed slaves, the majority of Oriental populations had slave blood.