Nabaweya Mousa


Born on December 17, 1886,
Nabawiya Musa (نبوية موسى) was the first Egyptian girl to have a high-school education in 1907 and for 21 years later she was the only Egyptian girl to have this degree. Her name is imprinted on the history of education in Egypt. For many reasons she was said to be the pioneer of women's education in the country.

For nearly forty years (1904-1946), women's education was her main cause. Thanks to her, women were able to go through all the posts of the education process. Earlier, Egyptian women working in this field were allowed only to teach while foreigners worked as managers and supervisors. Her efforts paid off and she was the first headmistress, the first supervisor, the first manager.

When the first non-state-run university was opened in Egypt, Nabawya Moussa, together with another two pioneers; Malak Hifni Nasif and Labiba Hashem, were invited to lecture high-class ladies in order to educate them.

She wrote a very important book called "Fruits of Life in Girl's Education" which, in 1908, was adopted as a curriculum by the then Ministry of Education. A year later, the governor of Al-Fayoum convinced her to be the headmistress of Al-Mohammadia school for girls. In a four-year period the number of the students doubled. Her achievements in Al- Fayoum, Al-Mansoura and Cairo proved her to be a real pioneer of women's education.

Moussa died in 1951.

(From The Egypt State Information Service website)

Publications: (Arabic)

  • Diwan al-Sayyida Nabawiya Musa (The Poetry of Nabawiya Musa, poetry). Cairo: 1938.
  • Tub Hutab aw al-fadila al-mudtahada (Tubhotep or the Persecuted Virtue, historical novel). Cairo: 1939.
  • Tarikhi bi-qalami (My History by My Pen, autobiography).

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