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International Women’s Day: Layla AlAmmar, Edna Adan Ismail, and Etaf Rum

March 8, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Authors Etaf Rum and Layla AlAmmar, and woman’s rights activist Edna Adan Ismail, discuss their books, their favourite female artists and the women that inspire them.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, Bristol Ideas have partnered with ShelterBox Book Club to present a panel of global storytellers for a special online event. The panels’ books were read by the ShelterBox Book Club over the past two years, and they are delighted that the authors are able to join us virtually.

Layla AlAmmar’s The Pact We Made explores ideas of freedom and being a woman in Kuwait. Dahlia is staring down the barrel of her thirtieth birthday, the age when a Kuwaiti woman from a good family is past her prime marrying years. She straddles two worlds: one in which she’s a modern woman living in a modern city, and another where she can’t have male friends, or leave the country without her father’s consent.

The eldest child of an overworked doctor in the British Protectorate of Somaliland, Edna Adna Ismail was the first midwife in Somaliland. Later, as the first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland, she became a passionate campaigner for women’s rights and better health. Her memoir A Woman of Firsts tells the inspirational story of how she survived imprisonment, persecution, and civil war to become a pioneering politician, a leading light in the World Health Organisation, and a global campaigner for women’s rights.

Etaf Rum’s A Woman is No Man is set in America and tells the story of three generations of Palestinian-American women struggling to express their individual desires within the confines of their Arab culture. It’s an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.

This panel revisits their books, debates the power of stories and art, discusses the women who inspire the ongoing work of International Disaster Relief Charity ShelterBox, and much more, with Catherine Thornhill.


March 8, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Bristol Ideas