Saturday, March 8, 2008

International Woman's Day

On March 8th, 1914, women held rallies all over Europe either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters in Russia who have observed the first International Women's day as part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I. The date is also linked to women's movements in the US. I have no problem celebrating in solidarity with the Russian, American, or women from any other country, religion, or color.

Yet, as an Egyptian, I also celebrate in solidarity with numerous Egyptian women who paved the way for me and millions of other Arab women. But I just discovered that we have an Egyptian Women's day which is celebrated on March 16 (have no idea why we had to have a different women's day than the rest of the world). In any case, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and pay my respect to some Egyptian women pioneers:

Aisha Ismat Al-Taimuriya (Writer)
Amina El-Said (First PHD in Arts, Cairo University, Writer, Jounalist)
Amina Rashid (Activist)
Amina Shafiq (Writer & Activist)
Aziza Hussein (Veteran Champion of Women's Rights)
Aziza Moharram (Pilot)
Duria Shakik (Jounalist, Women's Rights Advocate)
Farkhonda Hassan (Scientist, Politician and Development Specialist)
Fatma Moussa (First woman head of English Lit. Dept, Cairo Univ)
Fatmah Rushdi (Actress, Film Maker)
Helena Sidaros (First Woman Doctor to Practice in Egypt)
Hoda Shaarawi (Leader of the Egyptian Feminist Movement)
Inji Aflatun (Painter)
Laila Doss (First woman Radio broadcaster, UN Assistant Sec-General)
Laila Takla (Human Rights Activist)
Latifa El Zayyat (Writer & Activist)
Lotfia Elnadi (Pilot)
Malak Hefni Nassef (aka Bahithat Al-Badia, Women's Rights Advocate)
Mufida AbdelRahman (Attorney, Writer, Women's Rights Advocate)
Nabaweya Musa (Educator, Activist)
Nawal Al-Saadawi (Psychiatrist, Writer)
Qut Al-Qulub (Activist, Writer)
Rose Al Youssef (Actress, Journalist)
Safia El Mohandess (Radio Broadcaster)
Safiyah Zaghlul (Mother of the Egyptian People)
Saiza Nabarawi (Journalist, Activist)
Samira Moussa (Nuclear Scientist)
Shahinda Maklad (Activist)
Sufi Abdullah (Writer)
Tahia Halim (Artist)
Um Kalthoum (Singer)
Widad Metri (Activist, Journalist)
Zeinab Hassan (Chemist)

Needless to say, this list is only of some pioneers who lived in the past century. As an established Mastoul, I am sure I forgot to mention some pivotal names. Pioneers of the more distant past and contemporary ones are not listed, but are in my heart. Pioneers of the future are in my dreams.

Finally, I wish all my fellow women a happy, prosperous, productive, and fulfilling life. To Egyptian women in particular I say: "Let's not disappoint our pioneers."


Anonymous said...

Can you please correct Lotfia Elnadi's name on this post? Thank you.

nahoul said...

Name corrected as you suggested. Are you related to Ms Elnadi??