Muslim Women: Past and Present

Recommend a Muslim Woman

Throughout the ages, from the earliest days of Islam to contemporary times today, Muslim women have been and continue to be active leaders in their communities and countries across the world. This directory is a growing archive of leading Muslim women scholars, activists, writers, politicians, artists, religious and spiritual leaders, civil society leaders and more. Please contribute to this archive by suggesting Muslim women to be featured through our recommendation form.

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Nathalie Handal

“I've had a transient life, and so poetry and the word has been important because that's what I've gone back to, because that has stayed. So I've gone back to poetry for my memories, for what I've left behind.”

Nathalie Handal in an interview with Jim Lehrer

photo of Nathalie Handal

Known For: Poet and playwright
Dates: 1969 CE - Present
Country: Palestine

About

Nathalie Handal is a French-American poet and playwright of Palestinian decent. Her experiences living in the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Arab world, and the United States have shaped her poetry and writing. Of Nathalie, Pullitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa says, “This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders.”1 This voice finds its expression in four books, Poet in Andalucía, Love and Strange Horses, The NeverField, and The Lives of Rain as well as in such anthologies as Poetrywales, Ploughshares, Poetry New Zealand, Stand Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Perihelion, and The Literary Review.  Nathalie is a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, winner of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011, and Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, among other honors. She was also named one of Arabian Business’s 500 Most Influential Arabs.

Nathalie holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and communications and a master’s degree in creative writing both from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.  She also holds a master of fine arts in creative writing in literature from Bennington College in Vermont and a master’s in philosophy in English and drama from Queen Mary College at the University of London in the United Kingdom.  In addition to her writing, Nathalie lectures both in the United States and abroad and is a poetry editor for Sable Literary Magazine and Forum. Nathalie was the editor of The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology.  The work brought attention to the writing of many previous-unknown female Arab writers.2 She is also on the advisory boards of the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University in New York and of the Levantine Center in Los Angeles, California. She splits her time between New York City and Paris.

 

[1] “Biography,” NathalieHandal.com.

[2] “Arab-American writer is ambassador for Middle East,” The Washington Post.

Videos

PBS Newshour segment on Nathalie Handal

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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women chronologically by the Common Era century. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women by their Country. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women leaders by entering the keyword(s) of your choice. If you cannot find a particular woman that you are looking for, please let us know by completing our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.