KCETLink in Partnership with 'Writers Bloc' Presents: Sex & The Citadel: A Conversation with Shereen El Feki

Author Shereen El Feki on Sex in a Changing Arab World with

Comedian Omar Elba


Presented exclusively on KCET and Link TV, the program captures the Writers Bloc event at the Silent Movie Theatre with author and journalist Shereen El Feki and comedian Omar Elba to discuss her new book "Sex and the Citadel: Intimacy in the Changing Arab World" detailing sexual behavior and attitudes in the Arab world.


BURBANK, CALIF. - April 3, 2013 - As traditional attitudes and cultural norms begin to shift in the Arab world, it is no surprise that sex and sexuality are at the forefront of the conversation.  During a recent Writers Bloc event at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, Cairo-based author and journalist Shereen El Feki and Egyptian-American comedian Omar Elba participated in a lively discussion about El Feki's new book, "Sex and the Citadel: Intimacy in the Changing Arab World." KCETLink produced the taped live event as a special, which premieres on KCET on April 11 at 9 p.m. and on Link TV on April 17 at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST on DirecTV and DISH Networks.


Engaging and oftentimes, humorous, the conversation between El Feki and Elba focuses on social changes in Islamic Life and the need for a sexual re-evaluation within the Arab world. El Feki speaks to the expansion of the "citadel," which she uses as a metaphor to describe the only acceptable place for sex - marriage. The citadel, however, still dismisses other cultural shifts taking place in some Arab countries as taboo including, homosexuality, single, career women, unwed mothers and the use of contraception.


Elba's smart, witty questions and comedic timing is an extra bonus to the fascinating discussion, which sometimes juxtaposes "old world" conservative viewpoints against liberal, younger attitudes on sex and sexuality.  


"We're pleased to share this engaging conversation to both local and national audiences," said Bohdan Zachary, Vice President, Broadcast, Syndication & Production for newly formed KCETLink. "Writers Bloc continues to feature dynamic personalities that appeal to our diverse viewership. We're excited to support an organization that shares our vision of informing and inspiring the public through enlightening, transformative programming."


The third production of the new series, KCETLink Presents, KCETLink continues to offer enlightening and unique specials to audiences on KCET and Link TV, co-produced with acclaimed organizations such as L.A. based Writers Bloc, a nonprofit literary series. Previous KCETLink Presents productions included Eva Longoria and Justice Sonia Sotomayor; and Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.


The executive producer for KCETLink Presents is Bohdan Zachary and this episode was co-produced by Writers Bloc founder Andrea Grossman.


KCET airdates (Southern California):

Wednesday, April 17 at Midnight

Link TV airdates (Nationally on DISH Network and DirecTV):

Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 a.m. EST / 3:30 a.m. PST

Friday, April 19 at Noon EST/ 9 a.m. PST

Friday, April19 at 10:30 p.m. EST / 7:30 p.m. PST

Saturday, April 20 at 3 a.m. EST / Midnight PST

Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. EST/ 11 a.m. PST



KCETLink is the new national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media.  A viewer-supported 501c(3) organization, its content is distributed nationally via satellite on DirecTV and DISH Networks, in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various digital delivery systems.  KCET and Link TV are services of KCETLink. For additional information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.



Writers Bloc (writersblocpresents.com) is a nonprofit literary series, now in its 17th season, dedicated to bringing to Los Angeles our favorite writers, artists and critics who have made a significant impact on our cultural landscape. Andrea Grossman is the founder and executive producer.



Shereen El Feki is based in Cairo, where she works on issues related to health and social welfare in the Arab region. Half-Egyptian, half-Welsh, Shereen was brought up in Canada. She started her professional life in medical science, with a PhD in molecular immunology from the University of Cambridge, and later worked as Healthcare Correspondent at The Economist magazine.

In recent years, Shereen has re-oriented her career towards the Arab world. While she has worked in regional media, as a presenter with the Al Jazeera Network, and continues to write on social issues in the Arab world, her passion lies in the many projects in which she is involved which aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people.


Omar Elba is an Egyptian-born actor/comic living in Los Angeles, Calif. Within a few months of doing stand-up, Omar has taken the comedy world by storm and has received international recognition from producers and seasoned comics alike. His accolades include a spot on SHOWTIME's 'Legally Brown,' which premiered May 2011, and participation in comedy festivals and shows all over the world. Some of his credits include shows in New York, Texas, the Middle East, and in his home state of California. Having lived in Egypt, Europe and the U.S.A., his material appeals to a wide variety of audiences. His experiences and interactions with people from all over the globe, from the street vendors of Cairo to the gun-totin' cowboys of Texas, have given Omar the unique insight of finding humor in all types of crazy this world has to offer! His ability to mimic voices and mannerisms brings these characters to life in hilarious impressions.




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