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Malak Hefny Nassef Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in Culture

Malak Hefny Nassef (ملك حفني ناصف) is an Egyptian writer and a leading feminist. She was born in Cairo in 1886 to an educated family. Her father was a judge and a well-known writer. He was also one of the founders of the Egyptian University.  Malak Hefny Nassef is the first Arab woman to receive the primary school certificate in 1900, and follow it by further study. She knew Arabic, English and French, which helped her expand her knowledge.

In 1907, Malak Hefny Nassef got married to Abdel Sattar Al-Bassel, the head of the Bassel tribe in Fayoum. After moving to Fayoum, she assumed the title of (باحثة البادية) which means ‘the Researcher of the Desert’

Malak Hefny Nassef was one of the first Arab women  to call for women’s education, and wrote various articles defending women’s rights under the penname of (باحثة البادية). She published various articles about women’s rights in ‘Al-Jareeda’ newspaper, and then she collected them in a book called (النسائيات) in two volumes. She started another book about women’s rights called (حقوق النساء), which she died before completing it. She established a couple of women’s organizations to support women and to encourage them to help their communities, e.g. (جمعية التمريض) which collected medicines and clothes to send them to vulnerable communities in Egypt and Arab countries.


Malak Hefny Nassef died in 1918 after serious illness.

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