Rose al Yusuf

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Rose al Yusuf
فاطمة اليوسف / روز اليوسف
Rose al Yusuf.jpg
Fatima al Yusuf

Beirut, Lebanon
Cairo, Egypt
CitizenshipLebanese and Egyptian
OccupationJournalist, actress
Known forPioneer Arab woman journalist
  • Mohamed Abdel Qodos (Egyptian actor)
  • Zaki Tulaymat (Egyptian actor)
ChildrenIhsan Abdel Quddous

Fatma Al-Yusef (Arabic: فاطمة اليوسف),[1] also known as Roz Al-Yosef (Arabic: روز اليوسف) (Tripoli, Lebanon 1898 – Cairo, Egypt, April 10, 1958),[2][3] was a Lebanese born journalist and stage-actress, a pioneer of Arab female journalism and a patron of the Arab female press.[4] She is considered the Arab world's first woman journalist.


Fatma Al Youssef was born in Tripoli, Lebanon to a Turkish Muslim family.[5] She received her primary education in Tripoli. Her mother died at birth, and she arrived in Egypt with her father when she was 10 years old. Her father then went on to live in Brazil and left her with the Christian family of Lebanese born Egyptian Eskander Farah, who had a major impact on her life, and especially on her choice to choose the acting profession. She began appearing at age 14. Initially, only in small roles, but her breakout came when none of the actresses agreed to play an old woman role, and Al-Yosef took it upon herself.[6]

From 1912 to 1925, she was a well-known theater and work actress as part of the George Abyad troupe (1980-1959) and the Yusef Wahbi troupe (1998–1982) reaching the peak of fame between 1923-1925. Her success won her the nickname the "Sarah Bernard of the East" and praise from Egyptian and international critics. She also became a favorite of the high society.

In 1925 she founded the news magazine Rose al-Yūsuf.[1] The magazine, which did not hesitate to use in illustration of caricatures, became popular and addressed taboo subjects such as religion and sexuality, frequently narrating the 'flapper-age' of Egyptian society. This Cairo weekly, which continued despite the death of its founder in 1958, stood out in 1994 as one of the rare Arab journals to dare to publish extracts from the Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie.


Through her work she succeeded in breaking social and political conventions and boundaries, and shattering prejudices imposed on women during her time, depriving them of their right to self-expression and their integration into the political and social arena.

Rose El Youssef, unique in her time, has become an emblematic figure of the Egyptian press and theater and of the Cairo context in the interwar period. A documentary entitled The Legend of Rose al-Youssef, was produced in 2002 by Mohamad Kamel al-Kalioubi .

The Arab Human Development Report 2005: Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World described her as a "pioneer of the stage and one of the earliest actresses."[3] and said that she "was a woman unique in her time."[3] She had said "I made this woman myself."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Her son Ihsan Abdel Quddous became one of Egypt's greatest writers.[7] Her grandson is the Egyptian-American playwright Yussef El Guindi.

See also[edit]


  • The Arab Human Development Report 2005: Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World. Stanford University Press, 2006. ISBN 9211261740, 9789211261745. The cited chapter is Chapter 3 (Archive)
  • Sullivan, Earl L. Women in Egyptian Public Life (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East Series). Syracuse University Press, 1986. ISBN 0815623542, 9780815623540.


  1. ^ a b Sullivan, p. 172
  2. ^ العلاف, ابراهيم خليل (2009-10-21). فاطمة اليوسف 1897-1958 رائدة الصحافة النسائية العربية (in Arabic). Al-Hewar Center. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Arab Human Development Report 2005: Towards the Rise of Women in the Arab World," p. 102.
  4. ^ Bizawe, Eyal Sagui. "The return of Cinderella." Haaretz. 1 October 2009. Retrieved on 10 April 2013.
  5. ^ روزا اليوسف, ولدت في بيروت بلبنان لدى عائلة مسلمة، نشأت يتيمة الأم، من أصول تركية، والدها محيي الدين اليوسف كان تاجر ذو أصول تركية، سافر في إحدى المرات من بيروت وترك ابنته التي توفيت والدتها بعد ولادتها، تركها لدى عائلة مسيحية كانت ترعاها وتناديها باسم روز
  6. ^ Ashur, Radwa (2008). Arab Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999. The American University in Cairo Press. p. 514. ISBN 9789774161469.
  7. ^ Al-Materi, Mohammed (2016), من قصص العشاق:"روز اليوسف" ... الصحافة... والرجال (1-3):تزوجت ثلاث مرات وأنجبت «إحسان عبد القدوس « الكاتب المصري المعروف, Al Chourouk, retrieved 6 September 2017, وروز اليوسف (1897 - 1958)، ممثلة لبنانية من أصل تركي، ولدت في بيروت يتيمة الأم في أسرة مسلمة.