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Anis Al-Jalis Magazine

ANIS AL-JALIS MAGAZINE

An Egyptian monthly that promoted women's rights; 1898 through 1907.

This Alexandria-based woman's monthly, whose title means the intimate companion, began publication in 1898 and continued for a decade. Its editor, Alexandra Avierino (18721926), was a wealthy Greek Orthodox woman who had immigrated to Egypt from Beirut in 1886 and later married a wealthy transplanted European, Miltiades di Avierino.

While avowedly eschewing politics, Avierino used her magazine as a platform to call for girls' education, women's rights, and improved conditions for women. Although she used the topic of domesticity and household management to discuss such issues, her journal lacked the concrete household advice evident in journals targeting a less elite audience. The magazine had an extremely localized readership, as evidenced by the shops and service personnel advertising in the journal, which clustered around Sharif Street in Alexandria. Avierino optimistically projected her potential readership at over 31,000, a figure close to the literate female population of Egypt (including foreigners); however, actual numbers were but a tiny fraction of that figure. Although clearly a woman's magazine, its readership and contributors included men.

Avierino was a pioneer among Egypt's editors of the early twentieth century in her use of advertising to support for her publication. As much as a third of the journal might be dedicated to advertising. She even wrote an article touting the benefits of advertising as a means of promoting not only the exchange of goods but the exchange of ideas, because advertising would allow publications to proliferate. Despite Avierino's considerable talent and vision, she was forced to close the journal due to losses incurred after the 1907 recession.

see also egyptian feminist union; gender: gender and the economy; gender: gender and education.

Bibliography

Baron, Beth. The Women's Awakening in Egypt: Culture, Society, and the Press. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994.

Booth, Marilyn. May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Mona Russell

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