The father-daughter relationship has always been crucial in shaping the identity of the daughter. Daughters inevitably inherit their fathers’ personal trauma, and in the case of the daughters of activists, national trauma as well. Throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, daughters struggle to depoliticize their famous fathers, as well as assert their individuality amidst the overshadowing activism of their fathers and conflictual history of their nations. To heal the daughters’ identity fissures, they embark on a journey to chronicle memories of their fathers throughout their lives and critically assess their fathers’ cultural, social and political heritage and identity. This thesis will explore motifs such as: the personal and national intergenerational transmissions from fathers to daughters; the daughters’ exploration of their personal and communal identities, as well as national and filial duties. The memoirs examined in the thesis are: Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family (2013) by Arab-American author Najla Said and daughter of Edward Said, as well as Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter’s Memoir (2010) by Fatima Bhutto, Pakistani poet, daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, and granddaughter of the late president of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date

Fall 2-28-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Dr. Tahia Abdel Nasser

Committee Member 1

Dr. Ferial Ghazoul

Committee Member 2

Dr. Magda Hasabelnaby


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item