Study Guide

A Border Passage What's Up With the Title?

By Leila Ahmed

What's Up With the Title?

Thankfully for us, the title is no mystery: Ahmed is literally crossing many national borders to get to her current destination in life.

But, she's also having to "cross borders" in other respects: stepping past the lines drawn around her as a woman, a Muslim, an Egyptian, an Arab, and a person of color. Ahmed challenges the assumptions of white academia just by being present and pushing into the discourse of feminism and literary theory.

Her purpose in life is to keep crossing those lines in the sand and continuously open up the landscape before her. That's why the second bit of her title—"A Woman's Journey"—is also significant. Her experience as a woman—and with the women in her life—fundamentally shapes her perception of the world around her and her sense of purpose.

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