Will the Real ‘Carrie Bradshaw of the Middle East’ Please Come Forward?

This post was written by M. Lynx Qualey and originally appeared on her blog Arab Literature (in English).

Last Friday, the Independent reported that poet Joumana Haddad has been called the “Carrie Bradshaw of Beirut.”

Abdel Aal's book; Dar el Shorouk cover.

Yesterday, National Public Radio said that Ghada Abdel-Aal, blogger and author of Ayza Atgowaz (now a Ramadan TV series), is “Carrie Bradshaw in a headscarf.”

I certainly don’t object to analogy: It’s how we humans structure knowledge. And, while Haddad found the characterization of her “rather inaccurate” (perhaps she would prefer “a sexy Adrienne Rich”), Abdul-Aal embraces Sex and the City while telling NPR:

“Some people call my show Sex and the City, but without the sex. It’s just the city,” she says with a hearty laugh.

(I think emphasizing her “hearty laugh” is to underline that she’s a humor writer.)

Abdel-Aal’s blog is now rarely updated, although it’s inspired other blogs and facebook groups and become a cultural phenom. And now it’s a Ramadan TV series! The book is also making its way around the world: It’s already out in Italian, and will come out in English this October from University of Texas Press.

And: While we’re on the subject, why hasn’t Rajaa Alsanea been called the “Carrie Bradshaw of Saudi Arabia”? There is apparently an Arab (American) Carrie Bradshaw, or at least she’s called that by her friends.

Although, of course, what I’d really like to hear is someone being called “the bare-headed Ghada Abdel-Aal.”

Friday Links
How Facebook fails Muslim Women
Why British MP’s statements defending Muslim women do more harm than good
Book review: Jewels of Allah by Nina Ansary