The Concept of “Hareem” in Fatima Al-Mernissi’s Perception & the Cultural Criticism

Maha M. Autoom


This study analyzes the concept of Hareem through the books and writings of Fatima Al-Mernissi that make this concept central and fundamental. It is important for any researcher to deeply go through this concept in order to understand her feminist cultural discourse, especially as it is a multi-meaning concept that runs from the linguistic meaning to forms and multiple images Hareem; unrealistic Hareem, delusional Hareem, and from the eastern to the western Hareem, political and invisible Hareem, and makes Scheherazade’s image an icon to alterations and transformations of this concept. Al-Mernissi is primarily concerned about providing an image of eastern Arabic Muslim woman, she discussed the dimensions of this image by understanding the different religious, political, social and cultural conditions that emerged, and at the same time paying attention to that this eastern Hareem is linked very closely to the European and American Hareem, which even if disagreed in form, but has the exact context. Al-Mernissi also dismantled the concept of Hareem through serious and profound investigations in different sources that produced it, being basically a sociologist, and in order to understand the image of women and analyze it, she based on social studies in different scopes of knowledge.


Hareem; Realistic hareem; Political hareem; Invisible hareem; Delusional hareem.

Full Text:



Al-Andalusi, I. H. (1981). A letter in mothers of Caliphs (Vol.2). Beirut: Arab Association for Studies and Publication.

Al-Deen, J., et al. (2005). Lisanul Al-Arab (the Arab tongue). Beirut: Darel Kutub Al-I’Lmeyyah.

Al-Ghathami, A. (2000). Cultural criticism: Reading in the Arab cultural consistencies. Morocco: The Arab Cultural Center.

Al-Ghathami, A., & Isteif, A. N. (2004). Cultural criticism or literature criticism (p.31). Damascus: Dar el Fiker.

Al-Ghathami, A. (1997). The woman and language (p.17). Casa Blanca: Arab Cultural Center.

Al-Khalil, S. (2014). Spaces of cultural criticism: From the text to the address (p.17). Damascus: Dar Tammouz.

Al-Mernisi, F. (1987). Sex as a social engineering (F. Az-Zahra’ Azryoul, Trans., p.126). Casa Blanca: Darel Fank.

Al-Mernisi, F. (2002). Shahrazad travels to the west (F. Az-Zahar’ Azroul, Trans.). Casa Blanca: Arab Cultural Center.

Al-Mernisi, F. (1998). Women on the wings of dream (F. Az-Zahra’ Azryoul, Trans.). Casa Blanca: Publications of Al-Fank.

Al-Mernisi, F. (1993). The political harem (A. H. A’bbas, Trans., 2nd ed., p.127). Damascus: Darel Hasad.

Al-Mernisi, F. (1997). What is behind the veil: Dynamics of the masculine—the feminine in the modern Islamic community (A. Saleh, Trans., pp.79-80). Damascus: Dar Horan.

Al-Mernisi, F. (2002). The forgotten sultanas (F. Az-Zahar’ Azroul, Trans., p.18). Casa Blanca: Arab Cultural

Al-Mernisi, F. (2002). Shahrazad is not Moroccan (M. Toug, Trans., p.24). Beirut Arab Cultural Center.

Al-Mirnisi, F. (2000). Are you fortified against harem (N. Baidoun, Trans.). Casa Blanca: Darel Fank.

De Bofwar, S. (2008). The other sex (N. Haddad, Trans., reversed and verified by I. Al-Mughrabi, p.61). Amman: Darel Ahliyyah for Publication and Distribution.

Fredon, B. (2014). The womanly puzzle (A. B. Fadel, Trans.). Damascus: Darel Rahbah for Publication and Distribution.

Ghreir, J. (2014). The castrated woman (A. B. Fadel, Trans., p.184). Damascus: Darel Ar Rahba for Publication & Distribution.

Ibrahim, A. (2011). The womanly narration (p.66). Beirut: The Arab Association for Studied and Publication.

Marina, W. (2016). Most queer charm: Fascinating scenes from the inspiration of the one thousand nights and a night (A. Oudeh, Trans., revised by A. Khreis, p.482). Abu Dhabi: Mashrou’ Kalema.

Saed, E. (1991). Comments on orientalism (S. Hadidi, Trans. & ed., p.53). Amman: Arab Association for Studies and Publication.

Salameh, R. B. (2006). Building of potency (2nd ed., p.156). Tunisia: Darel Ma’refah for Publication.

Younis, M. A. R. (1988). Sex and power in one thousand nights & a night (p.233). Beirut: Darel Inteshar Al-Arabi.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 maha autoom

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture