Warda al-Yaziji



Poet and teacher Warda al-Yaziji was born into a family of poets and scholars in the village of Kafr Shima in Lebanon in 1838. Two years later, the family moved to Beirut where Warda began her education in French while her father taught her Arabic grammar and structures of Arabic poetry at home. She later taught at a local school and helped educate her siblings until 1866, when she was married to Francis Shamoun and started her own family. They lived in Beirut with their five children until 1899 when Shamoun died and Warda moved to Alexandria. Warda published her first collection of poetry, Hadiqat Al-Ward (The Rose Garden) in Beirut in 1867. An expanded form of this collection was republished in 1887, and again with new additions in 1914 in Cairo. Warda also wrote articles on women’s issues for the magazine Al-Diya, founded in 1898 in Cairo by her brother, Ibrahim.