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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Unknown Past: Leila Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt

Thursday 17 November 2022
Please register below
What's New?! Fall Lecture Series 2022
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Leila Murad converting to Islam, 1947

This talk employs the life and legacy of Egyptian star Layla Murad, one of the most beloved and remembered Arab singing stars in the twentieth century, to analyze the politics of sexuality, ethnicity, and socio-cultural interaction between Muslims and Jews, and the crucial role popular culture played in constructing an exclusive Arab-Islamic Egyptian identity. Born into a Jewish family in 1918 and converting to Islam in the late 1940s, Layla Murad provides an excellent example to show that Jews of Egypt and the Arab East broadly lived within a web of emotional, social, and institutional relations thus with multiple and fluid identities, rather than a narrow religious identity.

About Hanan Hammad

Hanan Hammad is a professor of social and cultural history of the modern Middle East and the founding director of Middle Eastern Studies at Texas Christian University. Her work focuses on gender, sexuality, working classes, and popular culture. She has authored many academic publications, most notably Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization, and Social Transformation in Egypt from the University of Texas Press in 2016 and Unknown Past: Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt from Stanford University Press in 2022. Her research has won prizes from the National Women's Studies Association, the Association for Middle East Women's Studies, MESA, the Arab American Book Awards, and Journal of Social History.

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