1915 Activism

The Awakening of the Young Arab Women Association

In early 1914, a group of five women who called themselves the “granddaughters of Emir ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri” sent out invitations to prominent and young Arab feminists to attend the founding meeting of what would come to be known as the Awakening of the Young Arab Women Association. The association aimed to “help educate Arab girls, and provide the brightest among them with all the means available to further their education.”1

Though the association’s vision was mainly cultural, it was also concerned with politics through its clear rejection of the Turkish and other foreign authority. 2

The members included women that would continue their activism for women’s rights, including Anbara Salam, Ibtihaj Qaddura, Amina Hamzawi, ‘Adila Bayhum, etc. However, in order for an association to be legally registered, one of the members needed to be twenty-one years or older. All members were aged between sixteen and eighteen. Eventually, the association was registered in the name of Najla Bayhum.3



Hanifa Ali al-Katib, تاريخ تطور الحركة النسائية في لبنان وإرتباطها بالعالم العربي، 1800-1975, Beirut: Dar al-Hadatha, 1984.

Anbara Salam Khalidi, Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist, by Anbara Salam, translated by Tarif Khalidi, Pluto Press, 2013.