Glamour's Woman of the Year - A Hijabi!

Posted on Jan 15, 2012
Melanie Elturk


Esraa Abdel Fattah named Glamour's Woman of the Year!

Each year, Glamour magazine holds its "Women of the Year" awards where it recognizes inspiring women who are making differences in their communities and influencing others all around the world. Early last year, Glamour magazine named their Women of 2011, and Esraa Abdel Fattah was among those awarded this prestigious award. 

According to Christiane Amanpour, who covered the protests in Egypt for ABC News, Esraa Abdel Fattah is woman of the year because, "In Cairo's Tahrir Square, women and men stood shoulder to shoulder, demanding freedom and their rights. Women like Esraa insist the genie cannot be put back in the bottle."

Read on for Glamour magazine's profile on Esraa:

In January 25, a young Egyptian woman known as Facebook Girl tucked her hair under a head scarf, pocketed her cell phone and met up with 20 other young people to march toward the center of Cairo. Soon hundreds, then thousands of others joined them, until 10,000-strong, they surged into Tahrir Square to make history.

Over the next 18 days, Esraa Abdel Fattah live-updated on Facebook and tweeted her experiences in the Square—and the world followed along. “We feared being arrested or killed,” recalls Abdel Fattah, 33, a project manager for an Egyptian youth organization, “but we were achieving the dream of justice and democracy.”

The revolt she helped organize toppled the regime of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak—and marked a high point of the Arab Spring. But this was hardly her first brush with activism. She earned her nickname in 2008, when the Facebook group she started to support a textile workers’ strike attracted 74,000 followers and ultimately landed her in jail. Today, the gutsy Abdel Fattah is working to ensure that women keep their rights in the new Egypt; she’s founded a nonprofit to train women to become political leaders, and she plans to run for parliament herself. “My time in jail taught me you should bear any pain to achieve what you believe in,” she says. “Then nothing—nothing—will stop you."

Essra accepting her award at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2011 in New York City.