Shereen El Feki

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Shereen El Feki
Born1967/1968 (age 53–54)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Toronto (1991)
University of Cambridge
Occupationjournalist, author

Shereen El Feki (Arabic: شيرين الفقي; born 1967 or 1968)[1] is a British journalist and author, most notable for her book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World.


El Feki was born in Great Britain to a Welsh mother and an Egyptian father. She grew up in Canada, visiting her grandmother in Cairo on a regular basis. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a BSc in immunology in 1991,[2] then obtaining an MPhil and PhD in immunology from the University of Cambridge, she joined The Economist as healthcare correspondent in 1998. After the 2001 WTC terror attacks, she learned Arabic and started to research the Middle East, in particular, the issues of emancipation and women's sexuality, spending much of her time in Egypt.[3][4] In 2005, she left the Economist,[5] and from 2006 to 2008, she hosted weekly shows, People & Power and The Pulse, on Al Jazeera International.[4] From 2010 to 2012, she was vice-chairwoman of the United Nations’ Global Commission on H.I.V. and the Law.

In 2013, El Feki published Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, which has been translated into Dutch, Bahasa Indonesia, French and German, with Spanish and Arabic translations forthcoming. "Sex and the Citadel" has been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award and The Orwell Prize; El Feki's TED talk on sexuality in the Arab region has received almost 1 million views since 2014.[6] The book surveys sexual attitudes of women and men in Egypt and the wider Arab world, and presents results of her five years of research. El Feki concludes that taboos around sexuality are starting to be challenged in the Arab societies, and that such debates in personal life are key to change in the politics, economics and the broader public sphere. However, she warns that such change comes "by evolution, not revolution" over a generation at least.



  1. ^ a b "Shereen El Feki: My Life in Media". The Independent. 2 October 2006. Shereen El Feki, 38
  2. ^ "Al Jazeera's Bridge-builder Megan Easton". U of T Magazine. University of Toronto. Autumn 2006. Shereen El Feki (BSc 1991 TRIN)
  3. ^ Voigt, Claudia (25 February 2013). "1002 Nächte". Der Spiegel (in German). 2013 (9): 132–133. ISSN 0038-7452.
  4. ^ a b "Shereen El Feki: My Life in Media". The Independent. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  5. ^ Easton, Megan (Autumn 2006). "Al Jazeera's Bridge-builder: Shereen El Feki is host of current affairs show, People and Power". UofTMagazine. University of Toronto. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  6. ^ El Feki, Shereen. "A little-told tale of sex and sensuality". TED. Retrieved 3 May 2014.


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