1927 First Women

Hajjah Fatimah al-Rifai: A respected literary salon hostess

Above is a photo of Egyptian feminist leader Huda Shaarawi whose works inspired Hajjah Fatima al-Rifai

Among the many salons that sprouted in Lebanon, a lesser-known one was hosted by a Muslim woman called Hajjah Fatimah al-Rifai beginning in 1927. Though she was religious, al-Rifai hosted her circle for both men and women three times a month, defying some of the social norms of the “conservative circles” of her time. The crowd frequenting the salon reportedly conversed about literary issues until the early hours of the morning. 1