Party consensus    Cooperative endeavours    Forging a stronger partnership    Live score: Chelsea v FC Porto (UEFA Champions League)    Ramadan and the pandemic in Egypt    Human rights vs coronavirus in Egypt    'MySafeUni Day' highlights fight against sexual harassment in universities    Egypt's trade deficit widens by 6.6% during H1 of FY20/2021, CBE    Opportune time for archaeotourism    Parliament discusses new budget    Ora Developers signs an agreement with Telecom Egypt for communication services at its projects    Sisi directs to speed up implementation of digitisation initiative in Egypt    34 projects worth $3.3bn aim to achieve gender equality in Egypt: Al-Mashat    Sisi greets Egyptians, Muslim, Arab nations on occasion of Ramadan    Art Alert: Bahgaga to bring fun to Cairo's Zamalek Theatre with comedy music monologues    Tatweer Misr signs EGP 3.2bn worth investment contracts for Bloomfields educational zone    The endangered River Nile    Water wars    Egypt highlights anti-climate change efforts during Spring Meetings    Don't miss AUC's Lions of Cairo ensemble concert    Prominent American rapper and actor DMX dies at 50    Al-Sisi, Lavrov address bilateral cooperation, Ethiopia's disputed dam    Tehran vows revenge    Narrative Summit launches 1st episode of Reshaping Norms 2021    Russia offers technical assistance in Nile dam negotiation: Lavrov    2021 Copenhagen Documentary Festival to launch Big Digital Live Platform    Egyptian artists honoured at Cairo Opera House for taking part in Golden Parade    Abu Dhabi's ADNOC, Sawiris-backed OCI reportedly weigh IPO of fertiliser joint venture    Russian FM says Egypt is main partner in Middle East, Africa    Bayern Munich, Liverpool needing comebacks to reach CL semifinals    Borussia Dortmund's Sancho back in training before City clash    Cleopatra Hospitals, Nahda University sign EGP 7.4m MoU for joint scholarship programme    Egyptian-African Relations Committee discusses strengthening Egypt's stance in Africa    Egypt will not allow internal water crisis due to Ethiopian dam: Water Minister    Egypt's Public Prosecution announces results of investigations into Sohag train crash    Egypt sees an uptick in new coronavirus infections registers 801 new cases on Saturday    Ethiopia invites Egypt, Sudan to nominate operators in data exchange on GERD's 2nd filling    PMI moves towards a smoke-free transformation, takes part in a webinar on e-cigarettes    Zamalek's Shikabala nominated for best goal in CAF Champions League    Egypt's national youth fencing team achieves world glory    Karate Federation celebrates success of Egypt Cup    Egypt's President warns of grave consequences of water crises in Africa    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Obituary: Farkhonda Hassan (1930-2020)
Published in Ahram Online on 03 - 11 - 2020

The Egyptian community this week mourned the loss of Farkhonda Hassan, a scientist, academic, parliament member and women's advocate who passed away on Friday 30 October at the age of 90.
Hassan co-chaired the Gender Advisory Board of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development and was secretary-general and member of the National Council for Women in Egypt between 2000 and 2011.
“Hassan was the driving force behind many amendments to personal affairs laws concerning women's rights,” Nagwa Al-Fawal, a professor of mass communication at the National Centre for Social and Criminal Studies, said. “Under her management the council had 27 branches all over Egypt and dozens of lawsuits were filed against women's rights violations,” Al-Fawal said.
Such cases highlighted women's issues and helped in solving them later through legislation in parliament.
“Hassan was aware of women's issues and was very keen to discuss how laws would affect them,” Mohamed Abdel-Salam, media consultant at the Arab Woman Organisation, said.
Hassan will always be remembered for standing by women on many issues, including the right to access their inheritance, under age marriages and Khul (allowing women to leave a marriage if they were staying against their will) as well as the right of Egyptian women to pass on their nationality to their children from foreign fathers. Laws addressing these issues were later issued by parliament thanks to efforts of the National Council for Women under her management, Abdel-Salam added.
Her affiliations with national and international organisations, non-governmental organisations and research and knowledge institutions focused on women's empowerment. Hassan served as a short-term consultant and expert on several international and regional programmes organised by various UN organisations, including the UNDP and UNESCO.
“I was lucky to have had in my life very special people I learned a lot from and without whom life would not have been the same. Farkhonda Hassan was one of them,” Seheir Kansouh, UNDP development planning and gender adviser official, said after Hassan's death.
“Not only was she a role model of the woman scientist but her simple demeanour and her smile that always brightened her face will remain a grace that blessed my way,” Kansouh told Al-Ahram Weekly.
Hassan was a professor of geology at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the list of her students included Queen Rania of Jordan and Egyptian former foreign minister Nabil Fahmi.
She was also chair of the Commission on Human Development and Local Administration of the Parliament and Shura Council from 1979 to 2011. This experience was translated in one of her books, Thirty Years under the Parliament Dome.
Farkhonda means happiness and joy, as she used to say to those who asked what her unusual name meant. She was the first woman to study moon rocks and the second woman to study geology in the Science Faculty at Cairo University. She was awarded the Order of Sciences and Arts, first class, in 1980. In one of Hassan's interviews, she said that Madame Curie, the scientist who received two Nobel prizes for pioneering research on radioactivity, was her idol.
Amina Shafik, a veteran leftist writer, said that while she and Hassan had different political leanings, she used to enjoy their chats. “One moment she would be talking about Egyptian deserts, the second she would give you info about the moon or tell you the story of the moon rock that Bill Gates gave her,” Shafik told the Weekly.
For Shafik, Hassan excelled in everything she did: she was a good cook and always bragged that she made her own dresses. She was a typical example of an Egyptian woman who exchanges recipes, took care of her grandchildren and had a great sense of humour.
Hassan is survived by her children Kareem, an engineer and Wegdan Lotfi, professor of chemistry. Wegdan spoke about her mom with pride. “Mommy prioritized family, above everything.” Lotfi remembers her mom's advice to her and all ladies “keep yourself busy”. According to Lotfy, Hasssan wrote more than five books about her experience as a politician and as a scientist. Her last book “Technology of Ancient Egyptians,” is now in the press. Hassan has no brothers and she insisted to make her father from Sohag Governorate, proud of her. In Upper Egyptian governorates a boy's birth makes men proud. “Hassan succeeded to change the equation. She passed away making all of us proud,” Lotfi concluded.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 5 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.


Clic here to read the story from its source.