Women Pioneers in Arab Press (1892-1925) > Najlā Abī al-Lamaʻ Maʻlūf > Biography

Najlā Abī al-Lamaʻ Maʻlūf

Najlā Abī al-Lamaʻ Maʻlūf

 نجلا ابي اللمع معلوف

A pioneering Lebanese woman journalist, Princess Najlā Abī al-Lamaʻ Maʻlūf (Arabic: نجلا أبي اللمع معلوف, 1895-1967) was born in Broummana to a well-educated family. Her sister Asma was an educator and her brother Ra’if was a physician. She attended the American mission school of Shwayfat, and was tutored Arabic by Shaykh Butrus Salim al-Bustani. She was known as Amirat al manabir (the Princess of orators, Arabic: اميرة المنابر).

 

Abi al-Lama founded the literary magazine al-Fajr (The Dawn; Arabic: الفجر) in 1919. The magazine was a major destination for many women writers of the time, emphasizing on women’s contributions and achievements. The publication of al-Fajr lasted for six years in Beirut (1919-1924), until she left Lebanon to settle in the United States. Al-Fajr was reprinted under the direction of Abi al-Lama’s brother in 1951 in Canada for one year only. While having a career as a journalist, Abi al-Lama’ taught in several schools (locals, British and American), and wrote articles for al-Fatāt, published by Hind Nawfal. 

 

Like many of her contemporaries, princess Abou al-Lama encouraged Lebanese and Arab industries, and decided to wear Lebanese and Arab manufactured clothing only. She worked with many women’s associations, including the Lebanese Women’s Association.

 

In the United States, she married the journalist Yusuf Ma’luf يوسف معلوف - and tried to set up another periodical in North America. She then wrote a weekly column in al-Huda (الهدى) journal in New York, to which many immigrants were to contribute. She returned to Lebanon in 1954.

  

Sources

 

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

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

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

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