Today’s Dame of the Day is Faiza Al-Kharafi (1946-). In addition to earning a master’s degree from Kuwait University, Al-Karafi also founded the school’s Corrosion and Electrochemistry Research Laboratory. During this time, she studied the effect of corrosion on engine cooling systems. In 1993, Al-Kharafi became president of Kuwait University, making her the first woman to head a major university in the Middle East.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Thuraya Al-Baqsami (1952-). As a student, Al-Baqsami studied art in Egypt and obtained a master’s degree in Graphic Design in Russia before returning home to Kuwait. Her work is part of private and public collections worldwide and received praised from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan; the UN commissioned her for a sculpture project that traveled around the world. She also received awards for her short story collection, Cellar Candles, and her children’s book, The Recollection of small Kuwaiti Fatuma.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Danah Al-Nasrallah (March 7, 1988-). In 2004, Al-Nasrallah became the first Kuwaiti woman to compete in the Olympic games; she represented her country as a track and field competitor. Today, she continues her involvement in the running community as an assistant cross country coach in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Rawya Saud Al Busaidi. After earning a PhD in education from Oxford University, Al Busaidi worked her way up through Oman’s Department of Education. In 2004, she was appointed Minister of Higher Education and became the first Omani woman ever to be appointed to the country’s ministerial cabinet. In addition to her political position, Al Busaidi also chairs the council of Sultan Qaboos University.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Naziha al-Dulaimi (1923-2007). As a student, al-Dulaimi was one of a few women who studied medicine at Baghdad’s Royal College of Medicine. When the government transferred her to Kurdistan, al-Dulaimi wrote about her patients’ living conditions in a pamphlet called The Iraqi Woman. Later in her career, she founded the League for Defending Iraqi Woman’s Rights and became a leader in the country’s women’s rights movement.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Hayat Sindi. Sindi grew up in Saudi Arabia but relocated to England to attend medical school. Upon completing her Ph.D in biochemistry, she became the first Muslim woman to earn such a degree from Cambridge University and the first woman from any Arab state to complete a doctoral degree in the field. Today, she splits her time between Harvard University and traveling home to Jeddah; when she’s not conducting research or teaching, Sindi encourages other women from the Muslim world to study science.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Fawzia Koofi (1976-). As a child, Koofi’s parents were not pleased to have a daughter; she fought for the right to go to school and became the only girl in her family to obtain an education. Koofi attended college in her native Afghanistan, studied political science and worked closely with UNICEF. After the fall of the Taliban, Koofi became the first woman to be elected Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament. In spite of numerous assassination attempts, she continues her fight for women’s rights.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Zohra Sehgal (27 April 1912 – 10 July 2014). After watching her sister’s marriage fail, Sehgal vowed to pursue a career in acting instead of getting married. She studied ballet in Europe and, during his European tour, met choreographer Uday Shankar. Upon her return to India, Shankar offered her a spot in his touring dance company. This position kickstarted her 60 year career; Sehgal went on to star in dozens of silent and speaking film roles.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Mariama Bâ (April 17, 1929 – August 17, 1981). Growing up in Dakar, Senegal, Bâ struggled to get an education at a time when schooling for girls was considered wasteful. As an adult, she married and later divorced, leaving her a single mother of nine. Bâ channeled her frustration with sexism and oppression into her novel, So Long a Letter. Through her writing and her own personal live, Bâ served as an example of modern womanhood to future generations of Senegalese women.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Zohra Begum Kazi (October 15, 1912-November 7, 2007). As a student, Kazi studied in India and England to obtain her medical degree and specialize in obstetrics and gynecology; she became the first Bengali Muslim female doctor of India. Yet in spite of her specialized field, Kazi went above and beyond to treat wounded students during the Bengali Language Movement and soldiers injured in the Bangladesh Liberation War. For her efforts in and out of the hospital, Kazi is considered the “Florence Nightingale of Dhaka.”