miriam cooke

Nazira Zeineddine: Biography of an Islamic Feminist Pioneer (Oneworld Press ,2010)

Nazira Zeineddine (1908-1976) was a pioneering Muslim feminist. Born into a Druze family from provincial Lebanon, she single-handedly took on the Islmaic authorities of her day, sending shockwaves throughout the world. Author of two groundbreaking books that passionately argued against the veil and defended women’s rights, the young Nazira quickly found regional controversy and international acclaim in the late 1920s. However, despite the considerable imapact of her texts and the fame this brought, within five years she and her writings had faded into obscurity.

In this absorbing biography, miriam cooke draws on interviews with Nazira’s relatives to piece together her extraordinary story and explain her mysterious withdrawal from public life. Arguing that Nazira’s work is a bridge between the wrtitings of late nineteeth-century reformists and Muslim women at the end of the twentieth century, cooke skillfully shows how this unsung champion of women’s rights was a trailblazer for modern Islamic feminists.


Published Reviews:

  • Al-Hayat June 2011
  • Al-Raida 2011 #133-134 Spring/ Summer (pp.68-71)
  • Choice, December 2011
  • Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 2013 # 9/1 (pp.133-136)
  • International Journal of Middle East Studies May 2015 (pp.388-390)