Skip to main content

Known for Being

The first woman to be appointed as a Dean within a Lebanese university

The first Lebanese woman to earn a PhD from an Egyptian university.

A women's rights advocate.

Major Accomplishments

Dr. Zahia Kaddoura was the first woman to be appointed to a senior post in a Lebanese university in her capacity as Dean of Literature and Human Sciences after a harsh battle within the university administration, and her endorsement by the cabinet in 1971. She was also the first Lebanese woman to earn a PhD from an Egyptian university. Kaddoura completed her PhD in Arabic and Islamic history in Cairo, returning to Beirut in 1951. In her work and research, Kaddoura focuses on female intellectual productivity and Muslim women's rights and their contribution in modern times. She was no stranger to and was a firsthand victim of administrative sexism.
In 1959, Saudi Arabia turned down her nomination by the Lebanese government to take on the post of cultural advisor at the League of Arab States, and in 1951 she was also denied the post of cultural attache at the Lebanese diplomatic delegation to Egypt during the time of Abdullah Al-Yafi's government. In 2012, An-Nahar newspaper published a review of a book entitled: Zahia Kaddoura: A Pioneer Intellectual, Educational & Patriotic Woman, Nahda Al-Arabiya. The book points out key elements of Kaddoura's feminist approach and academic journey in addition to her achievements in fighting for girls' rights. The Zahia Kaddoura Public High School for Girls in Lebanon was named after her in honor of her numerous achievements in the field of education administration.

Last modified: 01/09/2019

Share this: