Joumana Haddad is a Lebanese writer, speaker and journalist but also an activist for the rights of women in the Arab world. She founded the Jasad Magazine, a controversial erotic magazine, Jasad (“body”, in Arabic), which she created in 2008. She is provocative, opinionated and is not afraid to speak about what’s fundamentally wrong in Arabic countries. She says: “We must break taboos, stop the hypocrisy and schizophrenia that reigns in the Arab world when it comes to talking about the body”.
Her magazine sells quite well in Lebanon to the surprise of her distributor, she explains: “My distributor in Lebanon was amazed, he told me that the magazine was selling well, even in small villages”. Her writings earned her the nickname of “Carrie Bradshaw of Lebanon” in the British press as a reference to the uninhibited heroine of the American television series “Sex and the City”.
She advocates for free speech around the subject and wrote many books about it. Aside from being responsible for the culture pages of the very serious Lebanese daily Ennahar, she is an exceptional writer and poet. Indeed, she wrote tens of books, articles, essays and plays in Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish. Today, she is one of the most influential advocate for women’s rights.