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Out from the Shadow of Men: A Memoir with Laila El-Sissi

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Out from the Shadow of Men: A Memoir with Laila El-Sissi

“The shadow of a man is better than a roof over the head.” This Arabic proverb has long described the plight of women in Egypt. Like the classic Pyramids of Giza, the culture of Egypt for the most part stands unchanged. Egyptian men continue to use the banner of Islam and antiquated interpretation of the Quran to justify controlling women. Egyptian women continue to believe God has ordered men to do so. Yet Laila El-Sissi broke the pattern.

Laila El-Sissi was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to an upper class family. She is one of six children. Her father was an architect who chose to educate his older daughters at a prestigious French convent school, although he was an observant Muslim.

As a teenager, El-Sissi hoped to pursue a career in journalism. However, she and her older sister, Rawiya, were promised to older men in arranged marriages at a young age. Through perseverance and fortitude, they eventually divorced their husbands and escaped the abusers within their family, fleeing the country of their birth.

El-Sissi moved first to Europe, then Canada, and finally settled in the United States with her second husband. She has two sons and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works for a semiconductor company.

For more information visit: http://lailaelsissi.com/