Dramatic Literature of Nawal El Saadawi, The
by Nawal El-Saadawi
In Nawal El Saadawi’s play “God Resigns”, the prophets and great women gather for a meeting with God. Satan arrives to tender his resignation, but neither Jesus, Mohammad, nor Moses is willing to replace him. Finally, God himself resigns in disgust. Eygptian officials declared the work heretical because ‘God cannot resign’ and ordered her publisher to destroy all copies. El Saadawi was charged with insulting Islam and was threatened with arrest on return to Egypt. “Isis” is a critique of the discriminatory rules that control women – the daughters of Isis – in North Africa and the Middle East today. Both plays develop key themes of El Saadawi’s work: that religions are inimical to women and the poor; that the oppression of women is reprehensible and not solely characteristic of the Middle East or the Third World; and that free speech is fundamental to any society. This work includes introduction by Adele Newson-Horst, along with introductions to both plays.