Hanan is a Lebanese author on contemporary women’s literature. Hanan is from a very strict Shi’a patriarchal background in Lebanon. Hanan follows in the footsteps of contemporary Arab women authors like Nawal El-Saadawi. She challenges the roles of women in the traditional social structures of the Arab Middle East. Influence from the definance of patriarchal controls that were placed on her not only by her father and brother, but within the traditional neighbourhood in which she was raised. Her manifestation of social commentary on the status of women in the Arab-Muslim world. Hanan challenges the notions of sexuality, obedience, modesty and familiar relations in her work.
Her work often implies or states sexuallu explicit scenes and sexual situations which go directly against the social norms of conservative Arab society. As a consquence her books have been banned in the more conservation areas of the region including the Levant. For example The Story of Zahra deals with abortion, divorce, sanity, illegitimacy and sexual promiscuity, and Women of Sand and Myrrh has a lesbian relationship between the two main protagonists.
Her prolific writing on the condition of Arab women and her literary social criticism, she is also part of a group of authors writing about the Lebanese Civil War. Many literary critics cite that her literature is not only about the condition of women, but is also a human manifestation of Lebanon during the civil war. Hanan left Leabanon during the Civil War, went to Saudi Arabia, Hanan currently resides in London, England with her family.