Women Pioneers in Arab Press (1892-1925) > Hind Nawfal > Biography

Hind Nawfal <br /><br />

Hind Nawfal   هند نوفل

Hind Nawfal (Arabic: هند نوفل‎, 1875-1957), was a pioneering Lebanese journalist and feminist writer, who immigrated to Egypt and established al-Fatāt magazine in Alexandria in 1892. She was the first woman in the Arab world and the broader MENA area to publish a women's magazine, and an early advocate of feminism.

 

Hind was born in Tripoli (Lebanon) to a Christian family of journalists and writers, and she seems to have inherited their talent. Her mother, Maryam Mikha’il Nahhas, wrote the first biographical dictionary on women, edited in 1879: معرض الحسناء في تراجم شهيرات النساء (Maʻrid al-Ḥasnā' fī Tarājim Shahīrāt al-Nisāʼ). Her father, Nasim Nawfal, was a journalist and a publisher, and authored several history works. Her sister, Sara Nawfal, wrote in al-Ahrām and Lisān al-Ḥāl newspapers. Sara acquired an authorization to establish her own journal, but she was engaged to be married, and the authorization was passed to Hind.

 

In Beirut, Hind attended missionary schools, and later she pursued her education in Alexandria, where she lived with her parents. In 1892, Hind started a periodical, al-Fatāt (الفتاة), the first women's magazine in Arabic. At the time, there was a rising number of newspapers and journals, and an increase in female readership. The magazine was issued monthly, discussed political and religious subjects, and was dedicated to women’s issues and to defending women’s rights. When Hind married in 1897, her father continued publishing the periodical. Nevertheless, Hind didn’t abandon her social duties, mainly in supporting women.

 

Hind returned to Lebanon in 1947, where she spent the rest of her life with her family. She passed away in 1957 at the age of eighty-two.

 

 

 

Sources

 

- البعيني، نجيب. صحافيات لبنانيات رائدات وأديبات مبدعات. بيروت : نوفل، 2007.

- نويهض. ناديا الجردي نويهض. نساء من بلادي. بيروت : المؤسسة العربية للدراسات والنشر، 1986.

- Ashour, Radwa, Ferial J. Ghazoul, & Hasna Reda-Mekdashi (eds.). Arab women writers: a critical reference guide, 1873-1999. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, c2008.

- Khairallah, Shereen. The sisters of men : Lebanese women in history. Beirut : Institute for Women Studies in the Arab World, c1996

 

American University of Beirut / University Libraries / Bliss Street / P.O.Box 11-0236 / Riyad El-Solh, Beirut 11072020 Lebanon / ulcontactus@aub.edu.lb