“The stories of these 25 women of the Middle East are here to inspire you. Achieving our goals might be hard sometimes but that’s why we need positive role models to guide us.” —Wafa’ Tarnowska
Writer, translator and storyteller Wafa’ Tarnowska’s portraits of 25 pioneering women date from the era of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti (1370–1330 BCE) to contemporary scientists, pilots, architects and astronauts, among others. Her book offers young readers long-overdue role models from the Middle East. Written in a charming, conversational style, Tarnowska’s profiles are educational and empowering. Beginning with the stories of Nefertiti, the Queen of Sheba, Cleopatra and Sheherazade, she travels across centuries to write about an array of accomplished women. An Egyptian writer, poet and social activist, May Ziadeh (1886–1941) was among the first to discuss feminism and women’s rights during weekly gatherings at her Cairo home. Pilot Maha al Balushi (b. 1986) fulfilled her childhood dream when she became the first woman to fly for Oman Air, her country’s national airline. Tarnowska’s carefully chosen and beautifully illustrated profiles inspire and challenge stereotypes about women in the Middle East.