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May Her Likes Be MultipliedBiography and Gender Politics in Egypt$
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Marilyn Booth

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224193

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224193.001.0001

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Scattered Pearls and Mistresses of Seclusion: Zaynab Fawwāz, Arabic Biographical Writing, and a Canon of Female Visibility

Scattered Pearls and Mistresses of Seclusion: Zaynab Fawwāz, Arabic Biographical Writing, and a Canon of Female Visibility

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Scattered Pearls and Mistresses of Seclusion: Zaynab Fawwāz, Arabic Biographical Writing, and a Canon of Female Visibility
Source:
May Her Likes Be Multiplied
Author(s):

Marilyn Booth

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520224193.003.0001

Labība Hāshim (c. 1880–1947) had published her monthly magazine Fatāt al-sharq (Young Woman of the East) just twice when, in December 1906, she announced a new department to publish items about women famed for their refinement and knowledge. Hashim's proclamation prefaced a three-page biography of the late Turco-Egyptian poet Aisha Taymār. Word for word, this biography had appeared twelve years earlier in Zaynab Fawwāz's Scattered Pearls on the Generations of the Mistresses of Seclusion. Hashim formed the parade of “Famous Women” who would march beneath the masthead of her long-running magazine. By 1910, at least four compendia of biographies of famous women had been written and/or published in Egypt. Fawwāz was the second Arab woman to write a biographical dictionary of women, after Maryam Nahhās (Nawfal) (1856–1888), another native of Lebanon and an almost exact contemporary of Maryam Makāriyūs. Fawwāz, Nahhās, and Hāshim were among the first generations of women to participate in an emerging discourse on gender's centrality in Egypt's struggle to wrest independence from colonial subjection.

Keywords:   Zaynab Fawwāz, biographies, famous women, Labība Hāshim, Maryam Nahhās, Egypt, gender, Young Woman, Mistresses of Seclusion

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