Dr Nawal El Saadawi: Memoirs of a Woman Doctor

Since my childhood, I have always dreamt of producing a film or writing a book about gender inequity in the Middle Eastern society. So that I could be able to accomplish this goal, I have to obtain the adequate experience in order to hold a certificate from one of the prestigious universities in Qatar. As a matter of fact, I have the desire towards achieving my goals and proving my skills but my society, with all its restrictions and limitations, doesn’t give me the chance to do so. Because I live in a Qatari society, I have to be committed to certain traditions and customs which don’t provide me with the opportunity to become a decent educated woman in a community where men only have the power to dominate.

Therefore, when I think about the difference between men and women and why people differentiate and discriminate between people based on their gender, I find myself attracted towards reading books about feminism in order to, at least, feel that other women suffer from what I feel and that they will do whatever it takes to gain their lost rights. Through reading these books, I have the chance to know more about the meaning of feminism as well as figuring out more about women who have experienced conflicts with their families since their childhood only because they were born as girls not boys. Therefore, I encouraged myself to read a book called “Memoirs of a woman doctor”. This book was written by an Egyptian female writer named Dr. Nawal El Saadawi. In fact, this book had had an impact on my life to the extent that it contributed in changing my thoughts and my ideas as well as my view towards different things. A year ago, I read this book and for the first time I felt like I have the power to accomplish my objectives and live a normal equal life like any other man in the whole world.

Regarding the book of “Memoirs of a woman doctor”, it talks about a young girl who used to live in a traditional Egyptian family. Unfortunately, the family of this little young girl undervalued her skills and underestimated her talents because she wasn’t a boy. Dr. Nawal wanted to attract my attention and the attention of the rest of readers towards the fact that the point of view of this family towards its daughter reflects the point of view of the whole Egyptian and Arab society towards women in general. Being brought up as a girl in such family, this woman had to face all kinds of discrimination and injustice. In other words, her family used to prefer her brother over her despite the fact that she was an amazing student at school and she was more intelligent than him. This definitely has led to many bad effects on her view towards herself. She started to feel that she was born with a disability and that there was something wrong about her. She began to hate herself, her body and everything that used to surround women’s life. However, she didn’t surrender to this cruel reality. Luckily, her family allowed her to continue her studies and she managed to enroll in one of the universities in the faculty of Medicine. After graduation, she turned to become an excellent doctor.

Being a doctor provided this woman with the opportunity to start loving herself again. She felt that she had achieved one of her goals and that pushed her forward towards accomplishing more and more in her life. In addition, she started to figure out that discrimination and inequality between men and women is a result of a complicated backward point of view of a society towards women. Moreover, she began to know the fact that other women can do whatever they need if they had the desire and the inner power. Women also have all the chances to accomplish their dreams if they only tried to do so. That’s why the main character in that book believed in biological science as a field of study since studying medicine allowed her to have faith in justice and in breaking all the complicated rules she was forced to follow.

On the other side, this book allowed me to believe in myself and my abilities. In other words, I started becoming more self-confidence in addition to being willing to overcome my fears. I also began to become more patient as I learned that life can’t be easy all the time and that I had to try harder in order to succeed. Moreover, I have figured out that only successful people have the chance to enjoy their lives since they have faith in their skills and they never give up no matter what they face. Besides, I began to love myself more and accept the fact that I was born as woman for a certain reason as God never creates something by coincidence.

Because I read this book when I had to deal with a lot of issues, it was and is still considered as a source of energy as it provided me with the needed positivity to accomplish what I had planned. As a matter of fact, when I figured out that this woman in the book of Dr. Nawal had to suffer because of complicated thoughts, I felt that she represents me and a lot of million women all over the world who have to face many problems to gain their rights. Moreover, this book let me know more about a lot of topics about which I didn’t have a background. For example, I began to have ideas about different things like marriage, loyalty, human body, beauty and creativity. I also learned that I work not only to gain money but also to help people get the needed medications so that they could have healthier bodies. On the other hand, my creativity began to increase and I started to use my imagination to solve problems. Moreover, I learned that we all are humans and that we weren’t born as angels. Therefore, we commit mistakes and that’s why we need to forgive each other.

Since reading is one of the great pleasures in this world, I enjoyed reading “Memoirs of a woman doctor”. This book widened my thoughts about feminism and also enlightened my vision. As a matter of fact, I began to learn that feminism doesn’t refer to makeup or high heels or having a great body. Instead, it indicates intelligence, beauty of the soul and having a smart brain. In other words, many people believe that feminism is a concept that involves being a lady in shape which is totally wrong. On the contrary, feminism is a term that indicates being a lady by being educated and sophisticated. That’s why I believe the Qatari society and the entire Arab society must change their point of view towards women. Therefore, instead of looking at their clothes or their bodies, they need to look through their minds.

Like many families in Egypt, Qatari families adopt following the customs and traditions of the Arab society. These traditions are indicated in the fact that young girls must wear veil when they are not in their homes. Being an Arab woman living in Qatar, I was obliged to cover my head wherever I go. Furthermore, some Qatari families force their young daughters to quit school and get married to older men because they believe that women were created to achieve that purpose. That’s why I felt that this book has touched something in my heart and also because I had to experience what the writer had had to go through.

Conclusion

The book of Dr Nawal El Saadawi called “Memoirs of a woman doctor” provided me with a lot of information and that’s why I began to change my thoughts and my views towards myself and the entire society. Therefore, I believe Arab societies especially the Qatari one have to change the way they view women. They also must encourage other organizations in order to offer women opportunities to improve their skills. Furthermore, women must not give up and form peaceful marches to defend their lives and their rights. By following these steps, women will be able to have equal life just as men and I will have the chance to accomplished all my plans and goals. I will also never regret because I was born as a woman. Instead, I will be proud of my femininity.