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Damascus History Foundation- Correcting Biography of Nazik al-Abed on Arabic Wikipedia

In accordance with Bilad al-Sham WikiMedia, History of Damascus Foundation worked to improve the digital content related to the history of the city of Damascus on the Wikipedia Arabic International Encyclopedia, and in this respect it corrected the biography of the Syrian feminist Nazik al-Abed, leader of the women's movement who demanded that women be given their full rights.

Damascus History Foundation mentioned that between the years 1887 and 1959, Nazik al-Abed played a leading role in establishing a number of publications and women's societies. She also participated in the Battle of Maysaloun against the French occupation in her capacity as Head of Red Star Society that preceded the Syrian Red Crescent.

Al-Abed studied in Damascus and Mosul schools, and learned German and French languages. When her father was exiled to Turkey over the coup against Sultan Abdul Hamid II, she entered the American School in Izmir, where she learned photography and the art of drawing. In addition, she joined the editorial family of Arous (Bride) Magazine in Syria, founded by the Damascene writer Mary Ajami in Homs in 1910, and it was the first Arab publication calling for women's rights.

 When the Ottoman occupation ended, Nazik al-Abed returned to Damascus and founded Noor al-Fayha (Light of Damascus) Association for Girls’ Education, along with an affiliated publication of the same name, the first issuance of which was in January 1920.

 Al-Abed submitted to Prince Faisal bin al-Hussein a project to establish a school for the girls of the martyrs, and she requested moral and financial support from the Syrian state. The prince approved the idea and gave her land on the Salihiya Road to establish the project, and a monthly aid of 75 dinars.

Al-Abed also established the Red Star Society in Damascus, which was directly affiliated to the International Red Cross, dedicated to caring for sick or wounded Syrians of World War I.

As Head of Red Star Society, al-Abed volunteered in the Battle of Maysaloun with the Syrian army to repel the French aggressive forces from Damascus. She took to the battlefield on July 24, 1920 and toured the streets of Damascus with the Syrian soldiers, wearing a military uniform, standing by the side of the then War Minister Youssef al-Athma.

It is worth mentioning that Prince Faisal’s last decision, before his departure from Damascus, was to grant the Honorary General title to Nazik al-Abed, as the Syrians praised her heroic acts, calling her Khaowla (an old historic female figure known for courage) and others calling her Joan of Arc of Syria.

During the French occupation of Damascus, al-Abed continued to be active in the scientific and humanitarian fields. The French mandate government attempted to solicit al-Abed by providing funds to support the school of the martyrs' girls that she established, provided that she work for the interest of that government, but Nazek al-abed firmly refused.

Moving to Beirut, al-Abed founded the Association for Working Women and Cultural Brotherhood. After the 1948 Palestine Nakba war, she established the Palestine Refugee Insurance Association in Beirut, and she was elected head for its board of directors.

Nazik al-Abed died in Beirut in 1959 at the age of 72.

Rayan Faouri

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