Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Speed Sisters

Electronic Intifada, 23rd March 2016 Marah, with whom Betty maintains a sometimes bitter rivalry, comes from Jenin refugee camp but, contrary to the camp’s conservative image, is backed by her … Continue reading

March 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

‘Head over Heels in Saudi Arabia’ at Edinburgh Fringe

Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia is a one-woman show by Maisah Sobahi, in her day-job a lecturer at a university in Jeddah and now the first ever Saudi performer … Continue reading

August 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

I'll be post-feminist in post-patriarchy

This, sadly, is a real 13th birthday card, sold under the Arnold Barton brand which appears to be part of Hallmark. As the Pinkstinks campaign, who took this picture, put … Continue reading

December 7, 2012 · 2 Comments

Religion or patriarchy? Iran and higher education

Western fear of Iran is largely framed in terms of religious extremism: as this interesting report from MERIP suggests, maybe some of the regime’s policies are more about undisguised patriarchy … Continue reading

October 18, 2012 · Leave a comment


I’ve been thinking (not necessarily by choice) more than usual about my body in recent weeks. For reasons to do with both better fitness and some bouts of illness, I’ve … Continue reading

September 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Fadi Azzam's Sarmada reviewed

Better late than never? I wrote this review of Fadi Azzam’s Sarmada about 6 months ago, and then agonised for a while about what to do with it, to the … Continue reading

July 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

'The Source' (La source des femmes)

Saw ‘The Source’ at the Cornerhouse last night with friend Ruth. Having slept on it, I’m still not entirely sure what I think of the film. This is the official … Continue reading

May 29, 2012 · 1 Comment

Women's journals in 19th century Egypt

I love seeing Western stereotypes of Middle Eastern and Muslim women messed around with. Here is an excerpt from today’s piece of light reading, Beth Baron’s The Women’s Awakening in … Continue reading

December 3, 2011 · Leave a comment

Britain's new erosion of the Right to Choose

Despite the unusual spectacle of glorious weather over the bank holiday weekend, coming back to the UK has been a fairly depressing experience. My gorgeously grumpy Yorkshire grandfather used to … Continue reading

August 29, 2011 · 1 Comment

Kathleen Jamie’s ‘Among Muslims’

Over a year ago I started a blog to record a specific project – a long overland journey – which didn’t come about. As a result I’m killing the blog … Continue reading

August 18, 2011 · Leave a comment

Gail Dines on porn

Excellent article in yesterday’s edition of The Age on the impacts of pornography. The title given to the piece – presumably by a sub – is ‘How the hardcore porn … Continue reading

May 19, 2011 · Leave a comment

I talk to cats…

This morning I am homesick and, it being a working day (I should be working too, but my only boss is me and I never was a very good slavedriver), … Continue reading

May 2, 2011 · Leave a comment

All for a good cause?

Over the years, my friends and I have dressed up as some pretty bizarre things – angels, nudes, corpses, squirrels, cows – to protest against or raise awareness of issues … Continue reading

April 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Strong women and the men who 'love' them

Perhaps ironically, I’m writing this blog at my husband‘s behest. It’s basically an attempt to put on paper (/screen) a half-baked theory I was expounding the other evening, and to … Continue reading

January 1, 2011 · 4 Comments

Harassmap: Egyptian women challenge sleaze

Now this is what social media SHOULD be about. Fucking brilliant – a way for women to use technology to report, track and expose pathetic, scummy men who abuse their … Continue reading

December 18, 2010 · 1 Comment

My tuppence worth on the Wikileaks affair

It’s an interesting time to be a newbie in Australia, what with Julian Assange suddenly going from being some obscure activist geek to the best-known Aussie in the world in … Continue reading

December 16, 2010 · 3 Comments