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I Want to Get Married!

I Want to Get Married!
One Wannabe Bride's Misadventures with Handsome Houdinis, Technicolor Grooms, Morality Police, and Other Mr. Not Quite Rights
Translated by Nora Eltahawy

A blog that became a best-selling book in Egypt—and has since been featured in the Washington Post and on BBC News—I Want to Get Married! recounts the real adventures and misadventures of a contemporary Egyptian woman in search of a suitable husband.

Series: CMES Emerging Voices from the Middle East

Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Sales restrictions: For sale in the United States only
January 2010
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
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174 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 |

The rules may differ from country to country, but the dating game is a universal constant.

After years of searching for Mr. Right in living-room meetings arranged by family or friends, Ghada Abdel Aal, a young Egyptian professional, decided to take to the blogosphere to share her experiences and vent her frustrations at being young, single, and female in Egypt. Her blog, I Want to Get Married!, quickly became a hit with both men and women in the Arab world. With a keen sense of humor and biting social commentary, Abdel Aal recounts in painful detail her adventures with failed proposals and unacceptable suitors. There's Mr. Precious, who storms out during their first meeting when he feels his favorite athlete has been slighted, and another suitor who robs her in broad daylight, to name just a few of the characters she runs across in her pursuit of wedded bliss.

I Want to Get Married! has since become a best-selling book in Egypt and the inspiration for a television series. This witty look at dating challenges skewed representations of the Middle East and presents a realistic picture of what it means to be a single young woman in the Arab world, where, like elsewhere, a good man can be hard to find.

  • Introduction
  • Translator’s Note
  • I Want to Get Married!
  • The Beginning of the Story
  • The First
  • I Am Not a Good-for-Nothing
  • The Second
  • On Delicacy and Femininity
  • The Third
  • Yes, Love . . . No, Love
  • The Fourth
  • In Defense of the Egyptian Woman . . . the Bully
  • The Fifth
  • Habby Falantine
  • The Sixth
  • Here and There . . . Now and Then
  • The Seventh
  • How to Hunt Down a Groom
  • A-Hunting We Go!
  • The Eighth
  • O. L. D. M. A. I. D.
  • The Ninth
  • Why Pay More . . . When You Can Pay Less?
  • The Tenth
  • That Noha Chick Is Engaged! . . . Whhhhhhyyyy?!
  • Thirties Girl
  • In the End
  • A Final Word

Ghada Abdel Aal works as a pharmacist and continues to blog.

Nora Eltahawy, also from Egypt, is a writer and translator. She most recently coauthored and coedited Voices in Refuge: Stories from Sudanese Refugees in Cairo.