By Sania Sharawi Lanfranchi
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Extra resources for Casting off the Veil: The Life of Huda Shaarawi, Egypt's First Feminist
She also asked for religious equality for women, and for greater protection in terms of the law relating to marriage and divorce. Another of Huda’s lecturers was Mayy Ziadé, whom Huda had met at one of the Bahitha’s talks. Mayy, who was Lebanese, was a gifted writer and a well-known journalist. 22 Those who knew her said she had the vitality and joy of a bird, though it seemed she saw herself as a bird in a cage. She was single, adulated by a number of famous men, and lived with her parents, to whom she was strongly attached.
10 In 1904, Umar hosted Kamil, Juliette Adam and Prince Haidar Fazil on a journey to Upper Egypt on his Nile boat, during which she promised to do what she could to help him and his friends to liberate Egypt. Prince Haidar’s wife, Zainab Fahmi, who was also the eldest daughter of Ali Umar Sultan (left) and Mustapha Kamil (right). 36 ~ First steps in social work ~ Fahmi Pasha and Munira Sabri, travelled with the party to Upper Egypt, where Umar arranged for them all to be sumptuously entertained wherever they went.
Ali continued to have compassion for his child-wife, and made no attempt to exercise his marital rights. He was an uncommunicative, hard-working, sentimental, generous and reasonable man who could feel tenderness but had little charm. Unthinking, he had assumed Huda would grow up overnight into a woman, but soon realised that such was not to be the case. She continued to play games with Umar 19 ~ Casting off the Veil ~ in the garden, or sat with the gardener laughing at his stories, and often sat at her piano, her long hair flowing freely on her shoulders, passionately caught up in the intricacies of the classical pieces she loved to play.