Zulaikha Abu Risha is a Jordanian poet, writer, researcher, and columnist. She devotes her writings and efforts to advocate for women’s rights and to counter Islamist ideology in all its forms in the contemporary Islamic movements, which has put her in danger since 1981.
Zulaikha Abu Risha has devoted a lot of her written and cultural efforts for the values of democracy, civil society, dialogue, coexistence, acceptance of others and public freedoms to counteract extremist religious ideological systems and those modelled on reactionary ideas and values, especially those that bear a slogan of penance and treason, and those that hide behind traditions and identity.
In parallel, her feminist intellectual battle was transferred to the Arabic language arena, where she wrote and demanded a non-sexist language that recognises the feminine expressions within the language, in job titles, sites, official documents and in speech. She published two studies on gender and language, which were ranked as two of the first publications in this field in Arabic. During her various roles in education and journalism, she worked to get rid of written materials in the Arabic language that condemn and insult women.
Ten poetry collections have been published by Zulaikha, in which she has broken many taboos that were specially designed for women, to forbid them to say anything other than what traditional societies expect from them.
She is a descendant of the 'Abu Risha' family, which is renowned for knowledge, literature, Sufism, and religiosity. Thus, her personality was affected and formed by a number of poets, scholars, and ascetics, who imbued her with eloquent language and progressive knowledge. This is reflected in her poetry, which has risen to a spiritual and sensual dialectic chasing the shadows and details of life.
Zulaikha is an intellectual feminist activist who is still sharing national and international campaigns and movements against corruption, advocating for justice and enlightenment.