Makdashi, Hesna

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Lebanese publisher and activist.

Originally from Lebanon, Hesna Makdashi has been active in the Egyptian publishing world since the late 1970s. In Cairo in 1992, together with four other Arab women, Makdashi founded Nour, the first publishing house to specialize in works by and about Arab women. In a publication issued by Nour in 1996, Makdashi reviewed the aims of the publishing house. She stated that the magazine should encourage women's literary and critical production, and also serve as a venue for the announcement of books by women and what is written about them. According to Makdashi, a third aim of the Nour publishing house was to organize an Arab women's book fair every two years that would serve as a platform for discussing the situation of Arab women and featuring their intellectual and creative achievement. Nour publishing house raised the funds to sponsor the first such exhibition in November 1995. The exhibit was held in the prominent Hanager Cultural Center in Cairo and attracted publishers from all over the Middle East. Makdashi served as managing editor of the magazine Nour, which featured articles on women writers, announcements and reviews of their literary and scholarly work, and published papers and responses emanating from the book fairs it sponsored.

see also egypt; gender: gender and education; newspapers and print media: arab countries.


Fernea, Elizabeth. "A Woman's Book Fair in Cairo!" In The Middle East Women's Studies Review 11, no. 1 (March 1996) 13.

Makdashi, Hesna. "Al-Nashr fi dar mutakhasisa li-kutub al-marʾa" (Publishing in an institution specializing in women's books). In Al-Marʾa al-ʿarabiyya fi muwajahat al-ʿasr (The Arab woman facing the epoch). Cairo: Nur- Dar al-marʾa al-ʿarabiyya lil-nashr, 1996.

caroline seymour-jorn