|Iffat Al Thunayan|
|Iffat bint Ahmed Al Thunayan|
|House||House of Saud|
|Father||Ahmed Al Thunayan|
|Died||17 February 2000 (aged 84)
Iffat bint Ahmed Al Thunayan (1916-17 February 2000), also spelled Effat, was the most prominent wife of King Faisal. She is sometimes called Queen Iffat, Emira Iffat, or Princess Iffat. She is famous for her efforts on the improvement of Saudi education. She is the founder of Taif Model School and the first Girl's College in Saudi Arabia. She is also the half-sister of Kamal Adham.
Lineage and early life 
Her great-grandfather was Governor of Riyadh during the 1840s. Her grandfather had been taken to Turkey as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire following the collapse of the First Saudi State. Iffat bint Ahmed was born in 1916. Her father, Ahmed Al Thunayan, returned as adviser to King Abdulaziz during World War I. Her mother was Hungarian or Circassian. Although a descendant of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the Al Saud, she had been born and raised in Istanbul before her marriage to Prince Faisal in 1932. She is part of the Al Thunayan cadet branch of the Al Saud. Her father died as a Turkish army officer. Her mother sent Iffat for schooling to Istanbul under the care of her aunt— Jawharan Bint Abdullah Al Thunayan.
Iffat was very poor. She went to school wearing shoes stuffed with paper instead of soles. She attained a teaching degree. Because of the late 1920s fall of the Ottoman Empire, she and her family returned to Saudi Arabia. In 1925, Iffat's family asked for financial assistance for a Makkah pilgrimage for Iffat.
Marriage with Faisal 
In 1931, Prince Faisal met Iffat for the first time while she was undertaking a Makkah pilgrimage with her aunt. Prince Faisal, who served as deputy for the Hijaz province, took Iffat back to Turkey with her aunt.
Because neither spoke the other's language, they taught each other. Four of their children learned Turkish at home. Iffat became a fluent Arabic-speaker but never lost her Turkish accent.
The couple had nine children – five sons and four daughters. Iffat was the mother of Mohammed, Bandar, Saud, Turki, Abdul Rahman, Lulwah, and Haifa. Their sons are very educated and are alumni of Princeton, Harvard, Georgetown, Sandhurst, and Cranwell. She contracted foreign tutors to educate her daughters. The daughters later received additional education in Switzerland. In stark contrast, only 6 of the 107 children of Faisal's older brother – Saud— even completed high school.
Queen Iffat 
Queen Iffat was an informal title given to her because of her beloved status in Saudi Arabia.
In 1967, Queen Iffat began making public appearances at state events. She became honorary president of the "Saudi Arabian Renaissance Society" — a woman's society in Riyadh to teach women skills in crafts, and to assist needy families — in the organization's fifth anniversary. Her "Saudi Renaissance Movement" sponsored free clinics and literary classes for women.
Her comprehensive philanthropic activities included social welfare for women. During the 1960s, she established the first two social agencies in Saudi Arabia — Women's Welfare Association in Jeddah and Al Nahdah Women's Welfare Association in Riyadh. These programs are still available today.
Saudi education 
In 1943, Prince Faisal and Princess Ìffat established the boarding school —Taif Model School for Boys and Girls. Many children of the extended royal family, including their own, attended. Majority of the teachers were Egyptian or Yemenis. The girls' section was strictly for daughters of the extended royal family.
In 1955, she initiated Saudi Arabia's first private school for women in Jeddah — the Dar Al Hanan (literally "House of Affection"). Her younger daughters attended Dar Al Hanan. The name of the school is derived from the Quran. Its starting class had 15 students.
In 1967, she launched the first girls' college in Riyadh — the Girls' College, which provided teaching certificates, and the Nahdah Al Saudiyyah, an organization that educated illiterate Riyadh women.
In the 1970s, Iffat started the country's first community college for women.
She frequented many graduation ceremonies. Her motto was “Educate yourself. Be good mothers. Bring up perfect Saudis. Build your country." Her other motto was "The mother can be a school in herself if you prepare her well".
The Princess Iffat Al-Thunayan Prize recognizes accomplishments of women.
Personal life 
She appeared at many state functions and received female dignitaries. She traveled far and wide across Saudi Arabia. Her palace had an open-door policy which allowed any Saudi citizen to visit her. She was rarely ever photographed in public and she never appeared on television.
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