Fatema Mernissi Quotes

Fatema (or Fatima) Mernissi (Arabic: ????? ????????; 1940 – 30 November 2015) was a Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist.

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Fatema Mernissi


I, as a Muslim woman living in 1993, I want to have two things - the mosque and the satellite, both at the same time. And no one can mutilate me by telling me I cannot have the mosque or the Koran.

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When you are in trouble, you need to put all your energies into thinking that there is a way out. Then, the bottom, the dark hole, becomes just a springboard from which you can leap so high that your head might hit a cloud.

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Nature is woman's best friend,' she [Yasmina] often said. 'If you're having troubles, you just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That's how a woman cures her fears'.

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The most precious gift God gave humans is reason. Its best use is the search for knowledge. To know the human environment, to know the earth and galaxies, is to know God. Knowledge (science) is the best form of prayer.

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Maturity is when you start feeling the motion of zaman (time) as if it is a sensuous caress. p.216

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Pessimism is the luxury of the powerful.

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One cannot understand what's happening to women in the Middle East if they don't realize that the mothers are a strong, progressive force. The mothers push the daughters to get out of the harem, to get the education, to achieve what they could not even dream of.

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Dignity is to have a dream, a strong one, which gives you a vision, a world where you have a place, where whatever it is you have to contribute makes a difference.

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Writing is one of the most ancient forms of prayer. To write is to believe communication is possible that other people are good, that you can awaken their generosity and their desire to do better.

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I am intelligent enough to be critical towards the West and take what I need and reject what is bad for me.

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Morocco is such a beautiful place. It's incredibly beautiful. And also it is captivating place because for a writer, you feel that you make impact.

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By putting the spotlight on the female child and framing her as the ideal of beauty, he condemns the mature woman to invisibility. In fact, the modern Western man enforces Immanuel Kant's nineteenth-century theories: To be beautiful, women have to appear childish and brainless. When a woman looks mature and self-assertive, or allows her hips to expand, she is condemned ugly. Thus, the walls of the European harem separate youthful beauty from ugly maturity.

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The real mistake of women was to let the memoir, the collective, the history, space of producing history - to let it in the hands of men.

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Being frozen into the passive position of an object whose very existence depends on the eye of its beholder turn the educated modern Western women into a harem slave.

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Someone else is going to read for me or go at my place to the mosque, and/or to tell me you shouldn't take anything from the West because the West is the enemy and so on. It is to me to decide.

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