Beyond Veiled Clichés – The curiosity of Arab women

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Amal Awad was tired of seeing books that explored the lives of Arab women from a western perspective. She set out to interview women of Arab heritage from both the Middle East and in Australia, as a Palestinian-Australian woman herself.

Amal Awad talks about the fascination with Arab women and their lives; the misconceptions that abound; and how Arab women respond in her upcoming book, Beyond Veiled Clichés - The Real Lives of Arab Women.

Amal Awad is a Sydney-based journalist, author and screenwriter. She abandoned her career as a lawyer early in her practice to pursue writing. Amal is a screenwriting graduate of AFTRS, and a regular contributor to SBS Life. She has written for such publications as ELLE and Frankie, and online portals Daily Life, The Vine, Sheilas and Junkee. Amal has also worked as a producer for ABC Radio National, which included producing and presenting segments that explored experiences of multiculturalism and religion.

Amal's debut novel, Courting Samira (2010), was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She is also the author of the novel, This Is How You Get Better (2015) and a collection of columns and essays, The Incidental Muslim (2014). Amal also contributed to the anthology Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia (2014). Her next book, Beyond Veiled Clichés, explores the lives of Arab women.

The Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR), which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supported Amal's international travel to interview many of the women featured in her book.