lished al-Sufur wa-l-Hijab (Unveiling and Veiling) (1928) and alFatat wa-l-Shuyukh (The Young Woman and the Sheikhs) (1929) that caused a great uproar among Islamic clergy leaders. In Iraq, Bulina Hassun (1895-1969) established in 1923 the first Iraqi feminist periodical Layla, and fourteen years later, Maryam Narme (18901972) published Fatat al- Arab (The Arabs’ Girl). In Iraq also came the breakthrough of Jewish women’s involvement in Arabic literature – among the pioneers, we can mention Istirina Ibrahim (19141996), Esperance Cohen-Moreh (1930-2019), and Maryam al-Mulla (1927-2013), with whom the present essay deals.
She was born in ʻAbbas Afandi neighbourhood in Baghdad.1 Her father, Ibrahim Yaʻqub Rahmin Mulla was known as a poet in the vernacular and he inspired her to compose such poems herself. She studied at the governmental schools Mutawasittat al-Rusafa and al-Iʻdadiyya al-Markaziyya li-l-Banat but could not complete her studies following the death in 1940-1941 of her father and two of her three brothers. In the mid-1940s, al-Mulla started to publish short stories in magazines such as al-Musawwar (The Illustrated), alFatat (The Girl), and al-Siyasa (The Politics). She worked at the schools of the Jewish community, especially at Frank ʻAyni and Shammash schools. In 1948, she married the journalist Salim al-Bassun (1927-1995), who shortly after their marriage was expelled for some months to the town of Badra on the Iraqi-Iranian border after he published an article against the government.As Arab-Iraqi patriots identifying with Iraqi national causes and Arab culture, they were by no means Zionist and refused to join the mass emigration to Israel during the early 1950s.They considered themselves an integral part of the local Arab society and tried to improve that society as part of universal civilization. In October 1973, however, the political situation in Iraq following the escalation of the Israeli-Arab conflict left them no option other than leaving their homeland and emigrating to Israel. After their emigration, al-Mulla continued to publish her literary works in Israeli Arabic journals and newspapers as well as for the governmental radio in Arabic. During the last years of her life, she republished most of her stories and poems on the internet.2 According to her daughter Niran Bassoon-Timan (Niran al-Bassun, b. 1958), presently the Director of the Iraqi Cultural Forum in London, a collection of the stories will be published in the near future. One of al-Mulla’s most well-known literary works is the story
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