Arabic Language Blog

Mother of the Egyptians Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Vocabulary

Safiya Zagloul (1878 – 1946)

     Born to an aristocratic family, Safiya Zaghloul صفية زغلول was the daughter of Mustafa Fahmy  Pasha  مصطفى فهمي باشا , who was one of Egypt’s first Prime Ministers. She was nicknamed after her husband Saad Pasha Zaghloul سعد باشا زغلول . She was also nicknamed the ‘Mother of the Egyptians أم المصريين after she had taken part in the feminist demonstrations مظاهرات نسائية  that followed the 1919 Revolution against the British occupation toEgypt. Safiya played an important role in the political life inEgypt at that time.

     Safiya was born in 1878 and died on January 12th, 1946 leaving behind a rich and extra-ordinary life of an Egyptian woman and a faithful wife زوجة مخلصة . Safiya and her husband used to open their house to all national leaders and patriotic figures to discuss the country’s politics and think together of legal and peaceful ways to embarrass the occupation. The house also was open to all kinds of people so that it was called the “House of the Nation بيت الأمة” . After her husband was sent to exile المنفى out of the country, a lot of people gathered around her house. Safiya immediately, issued a declaration بيان that was read to the angry demonstrators in which she promised that she would follow in her husband’s footsteps and that she considered herself a mother to all the Egyptians who went out to face the bullets for the sake of freedom. One of the demonstrators cheered up, “long live تحيا the mother of the Egyptians” and hence came her nickname as the Mother of the Egyptians.

      In 1921, Safiya was the first wife of a political Arab leader to appear with him publicly unveiled. She had French education تعليم and her husband gave her all credit ثقة . She was also the first Egyptian woman to carry the name of her husband like westerners. Safiya was a good example of the great Arab women.


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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. Mezzofanti:

    Thanks for the article.

    Zaghloul’s an interesting figure in Modern Egyptian history that I wasn’t really familiar with.

  2. David:

    Very informative article. Thanks.