Aisha Taymur

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Ayşe Teymûr

Aisha Taymur (Arabic: عائشة تيمور‎‎; full name: Aisha E'ismat Taymur or Aisha 'Esmat al-Taymuriyya, Arabic: عائشة عصمت تيمور‎‎‎ or Arabic: عائشة التيمورية‎‎‎; 1840–1902) was a notable Egyptian social activist,[1] poet, novelist, and feminist.[1] She was active in the field of women's rights.

In the assessment of Mervat Fayez Hatem,

Taymur used her work of fiction, social commentary and poetry to expand the definition of the nation-building process to include different social classes, ethnic groups and women of different generations and nationalisties. In this sincere effort, she was able to transform her very narrow social class rootes putting them into the service of the larger community. As such, she deserved, not just her poetry, the title of the "Finest of Her Class", which was one translation of the title of her poetry, Hilyat al-Tiraz.[2]

Aisha is commemorated by having one of the newly discovered craters on the planet Venus named after her.

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Aisha was the daughter of Isma'il Taymur, a Turkish official.[3]

Aisha was born to a literary family; her brother Ahmed Pasha Taymur was a researcher and novelist. She also had two nephews: Mohammad Taymur, a playwright and Mahmoud Taymur, a novelist.

Family[edit]

Aisha's father always wanted to provide his daughter with adequate education.[1] Aisha got married when she was 14 and left with her husband to Istanbul. But after he died, she returned to Egypt. Her poems mourning her daughter are the best in that genre in modern times.[1]

Activism[edit]

Along with other women feminists of her era, she campaigned for education, did charitable work, and challenged colonialism.

Writing[edit]

Aisha wrote poetry in Arabic, Turkish and Persian. She arguably had a fundamental influence on the emergence of Arabic women's writing. Her 1892 sixteen-page booklet Mir'at alTa'mulfi al-Umur (A Reflective Mirror on Some Matters or, more eloquently, The Mirror of Contemplation) reinterpreted the Koran to suggest that it was markedly less patriarchal in its requirements of Muslims than was traditionally thought.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Aisha Taymur Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine. at Egyptian State Information Service
  2. ^ Mervat Fayez Hatem, Literature, gender, and nation-building in nineteenth-century Egypt: the life and works of ʻAʼisha Taymur, Literatures and cultures of the Islamic world (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 8.
  3. ^ Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000), "al-Taymuriyya, 'Aisha", Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt, Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 211, ISBN 1-55587-229-8, Pioneer woman poet, writer, and feminist. Born in Bab al-Khalq, Cairo, she was the daughter of Isma'il Taymur, a Turkish-born official in Muhammad Ali's European chancery, and an upper-class Circassian women who tried to quash Aish'a literary leanings. 
  4. ^ Cf. Mervat Fayez Hatem, Literature, gender, and nation-building in nineteenth-century Egypt: the life and works of ʻAʼisha Taymur, Literatures and cultures of the Islamic world (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), p. 113.

External links[edit]