Book Launches: Daughters of the Nile: Egyptian Women Changing their World

Edited by Samia I. Spencer


Preface by Melanne Verveer


The BA Alex Med hosted the book launch “Daughters of the Nile: Egyptian Women Changing their World”, that was held on Sunday, March 5 at 6 pm, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the presence of the book editor Dr. Samia Spencer, Professor Emerita of French and Honorary Consul of France in Alabama (2003-2013) as well as some of the book contributors. 


The book presentation was given by a panel of contributors, including Alexandrian natives and graduates of its schools and university: Dr. Tyseer Aboulnasr (former dean of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, and former  dean of applied sciences at the University of British Columbia, Canada), Ms. Nayera Amin (A banker who held several senior executive positions in Egypt and the Middle East-North Africa region), Dr. Hoda Badran (former chair of the international committee on the rights of the child at the center for human rights in Geneva, Switzerland), Dr. Mona Makram Ebeid (former senator and parliamentarian, a founder and member of several Arab, national and international councils and organizations), Dr. Seheir Kansouh (served as the policy team leader for the United Nations Resident Coordinator System in Egypt), Ms. Caroline Maher (Parliament member and HR manager at Peugeot), Dr. Nagla Nadouri Niazy (held teaching and research positions in US universities and industrial companies, and AUC), Dr. Magda El-Nokaly (chemical engineer at Proctor & Gamble in the US and around the world), Dr. Abla Sherif (Director of the International Education Center at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada) and Dr. Samia Spencer (The book editor and professor of French at Auburn University in Alabama, USA).


The book aims at breaking the monolithic and unflattering stereotype of contemporary Egyptian women as victims, uneducated and uncivilized, dominated by men. The second is to make the world aware of modern Egyptian champions who are improving the quality of life in the societies and broader environments in which they live and work. The third purpose is to provide positive role models for new generations of young people, women and men, in Egypt and beyond, to inspire them to set their goals very high despite the obstacles they may encounter, and to let them know that the sky is not the limit.


It is a collection of autobiographical presentations by a cross-generational group of Egyptian professional women that provides an important example of the history of achievement of women in the Middle East—all the more important because of the negative stereotypes and ignorance that often color today’s discourse.


The book is highlighting Egyptian women that the media have overlooked and ignored. It focuses on a sample of 38 pioneers, groundbreakers, and achievers in nearly all professions: academe, the arts, banking, development, diplomacy, economics, engineering, entrepreneurship, finance, government, medicine, public relations, science and technology, social services, sports, international relations, and international organizations. Their successes in Egypt and elsewhere have been recognized and honored by some of the highest national and international institutions and governments. Interesting details, forgotten practices, and historical events occurring in the mid/late-twentieth century and early twenty-first in both Egypt and other parts of the globe also come to life in their stories.