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The landscape of women playwrights in Egypt, like the theatrical landscape in general, is inextricably bound up with the country's historical and political background—specifically, that of the twentieth century, when theatre on the Western model first appeared and with it the concept of playwriting. This essay introduces the reader to these Egyptian female playwrights, dramaturges, and theatre-makers. Starting with the first-ever piece called a "play" and written by a woman, May Ziyada, in 1922, this comprehensive historical, chronological, and thematic overview continues through to the present day with such contemporary writer-directors as Abeer Ali and Effat Yehia, who came into their own in the 1990s and are still active today. It also places their work in context by providing a background of the social and political climate in which they produced, and still produce, their work, sometimes against great odds.