Aisha Abdelrahman


Dr. Aisha Abdel Rahman (Bint El-Shatei') (1913 – 1998) ( عائشة عبدالرحمن  - بنت الشاطئ) was a prominent figure in Egyptian and Arab culture. In a male-dominated society, she rose from the common ranks to the university campus and later to the wider vistas of cultural life.

When she was living in the town of Mansoura, Aisha used to publish a series of poems and articles in the Feminine Revival Magazine. When she finally settled in Cairo, the owner of the magazine asked her to undertake the linguistic revision and later she wrote the editorial. She also wrote stories in daily newspapers, besides Al-Helal, Al-Balagh and Kawkeb El-Sharq magazine.

She was born on June 11, 1913 in Damietta. Her father was a graduate of Al-Azhar and later a teacher at a religious institute in the same town. He used to take her to religious sessions where she received the basics of reading and writing at the age of five. She started her regular education in 1918 at the pre-school Kuttab of the village. Both her grandfather and her mother exercised pressure on her father to allow her go to school.

She wrote under the pseudonym Bint El-Shatei so that her father would not know that she was writing in the press.

She obtained her BA in 1939. Then, she obtained the MA degree in 1941. The theme of her thesis was the Life of Abul-Alaa Al-Maari. In 1944, she obtained her PhD for her thesis Critical Research on Resalat Al-Ghofran (a Treatise on Forgiveness) of Al-Maari. In 1944, she was married to her professor Amin El-Kholy.

Dr. Aisha's Academic Positions:

  • Chair of Arabic Language and Literature, Ain Shams University. 
  • Member of the Arabic Language Permanent Committee of the Supreme Council of Universities. 
  • Member of the Supreme Council for Arts and Literature, Cairo. 
  • Associate Professor to the Institute of Arabic Researches and Studies operating under the Arab League. 
  • Visiting Professor to the Islamic Umm-Durman University, Khartoum, Cairo University (Khartoum Branch), the Qarawyeen in Fez Morocco and the University of Algiers. 

Her Publications:

Dr. Aisha contributed much to the Arab library with valuable publications and research, the best of which were her masterpieces in Quranic and Islamic studies; The Prophet's Mother, The Prophet's Wives, The Prophet's Daughters, Al-Sayeda Zeinab, Sukaina Bint Al-Hussein. These works were translated to the Persian, Urdu and Indonesian among others. 

Dr. Aisha likewise compiled numerous research such as The Islamic Concept for the Liberation of Women, the Glorious Qur'an and Human Rights, the Qur'an and Geography, Woman in Islam, the Qur'an and the Problem of Synonymity, Divorce and its Impact on the Arab Society. She also compiled Al-Mohkam Dictionary, Resalat Al-Ghofran, The Values of our Old and Contemporary Literature, Our Legacy Between the Past and the Present, Our Language and Life, Contemporary Arab Poetess, Abu Alaa Al-Maari, The Peaceful City on the Life of Abu Al-Alaa Al-Maari and The Zionists; The Enemies of Humanity (issued one year after the defeat of June 5, 1967).

 (From Egypt State Information Center website)

Publications: (Arabic)

  •  The Egyptian Countryside (1936)
  • The Problem of the Peasant (1938)
  • Secret of the Beach and Master of the Estate: The Story of a Sinful Woman (1942)
  • New Values in Arabic Literature (1961)
  • Contemporary Arab Women Poets (1963)

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