Mary Abdu Shakra
She was born in the old city of Homs and received her early education in The National Evangelical School there, then she moved to Lebanon and attend The International School of Choueifat, where she obtained her higher degree. She moved back to Homs with a high level of education, and fluency in both English and French. Shakra is considered the first Homsi women activist. She studied, and talked publicly on many platforms about the challenges facing the success of the Arabic woman. In April 1928 she published the first issue of her magazine The Mimas Tree (Dawhat al-mimas); a feminist magazine discuss women’s struggles along with literary, art and social content. However, the magazine was banned in 1929 and at that time it had reached its 12th issue. She also published a book called “Missteps of the Renaissance Man”, where she talks about fundamental challenges faced by the Arabic woman. Mary died leaving behind an important and rich literary and journalistic heritage which makes her a pioneer among Syrian women who advocated for women’s freedom in the region.
Text: Lina Az-Zakaimi