Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Representations: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Biographies: Arab World
(4,389 words)


Writing about the self is not an exclusively Western tradition. From the Ayyām al-ʿArab (Days of the Arabs) pre-Islamic biohistorical poetry, to the first sīrāt (life-stories) of the Prophet Muḥammad, and from the medieval tarjamāt (biographical notices and autobiographies) to the latest riwayāt sīra dhātiyya (autobiographical novels) by contemporary Arab writers, the individualistic/collective self has been an …

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Telmissany, May, “Representations: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Biographies: Arab World”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0663>
First published online: 2010

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