Today, March 21st, we are celebrating and highlighting 5 of many influential women in education who have contributed create a path for our generation in various fields as part of Mother's Day and International Women's Month.
Princess Fatma Ismail - Sponsor of Education
The foundation of an Egyptian university was largely responsible for Egypt's renaissance in the twentieth century. The institution was able to lease its first building with the help of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II's financial support, but it soon had to relocate, and it remained in a state of economic uncertainty for nearly ten years. When celebrating women in education princess Fatma Ismail has to be honored. Khedive Ismail's daughter donated a large plot of land in Giza, where the university was eventually built. Cairo University is Egypt's largest education institution, with twenty-three faculties and over 200,000 graduates each year.
Samira Moussa - Egyptian Physicist
Samira Moussa's mother's long cancer battle may have prompted her to pursue science and, eventually, to investigate the medical applications of nuclear energy. She went on to attend college with honors from the Faculty of Science at Fuad I University (Cairo University) becoming the faculty's first female Egyptian faculty member with the help of Dr. Mostafa Mousharafa, the dean. Moussa held the belief of 'Atoms for Peace,' and is quoted as saying, that her wish is for cancer treatment, to be within the reach of the masses through the use of atomic energy.
On 5 August 1952, while driving along a mountainous road to the University of California, an opposing truck suddenly appeared on the high cliff road, pushing Moussa’s car off the edge. She was killed immediately but the driver seems to have jumped out of the car right before it fell off the cliff and has never been found.
Hayat Sindi - Biotechnologist
Dr. Hayat Sindi is a Saudi Arabian biotechnologist best credited with creating low-cost devices that can be used to diagnose a variety of diseases quickly and on-site in developing countries. She is a strong supporter of science education in schools, beginning at a young age.
Because the fundamentals of science never change, according to Dr. Hayat, an early introduction in school is critical. She believes that combining structured learning with hands-on experience will result in the development of life-long learners.
Malala Yousafzai - Pakistani Activist
In 2012, Malala spoke out publicly on behalf of girls and their right to learn, making her a target for the extremist group. She knew she had a choice: either live a quiet life or dedicate her time and energy to fight for girls’ education around the globe. In 2020, she graduated from Oxford University and continues to fight to ensure that every girl receives 12 years of free, safe, and quality education with her organization the Malala Fund, making Malala one of the most inspiring women in education.
Nabaweyya Moussa - Educator
Moussa was the first female to receive a secondary school diploma from the prestigious Saniyya school, and she dedicated her life to educating women and progressing female Egyptian teachers in the educational system. She was the first female headmistress in Egypt, and first female chief inspector at the Ministry of Education, and a member of the Press Syndicate. Women and Work is one of her many books, as is Fruits of Life on Girls' Education, which was adopted as a subject in the curriculum by the Ministry of Education in 1908. Moussa also published an autobiography in which she recounted her life of struggle advocating for female empowerment in a male-dominated society that was also colonially ruled.