A picture of Anissa Najjar speaking into a microphone.

Anissa Najjar speaking at WILPF’s Triennial Congress in Australia in 1989. Photo Credit: Ida Harsløf.

With a sad heart WILPF  announces the loss of our beloved mentor, founder of WILPF Lebanon and former WILPF International Vice-President Anissa Najjar. She died at the age of 103, years that were filled with perseverance and hard work on human rights issues, especially women rights, justice and democracy.

Anissa Najjar established the first women’s organisation in Lebanon, The Village Welfare Society, to elevate the social, economic and educational conditions of women in general and rural women in particular. In her schools, Anissa incorporated her book, Litracy of the Mind, in the curriculum to empower graduates with both educational and social skill.

In 1963, Anissa founded WILPF Lebanon and became its first president. She was also elected as Vice-President of the International Executive Committee. She was awarded The Lebanese Order of Merit-Komodor on her 100th anniversary and a year later, the government issued a national stamp as a token of appreciation for her work and accomplishments in the social and gender fields.

WILPF Lebanon had the pleasure of interviewing Anissa Najjar when she celebrated her 100th birthday. Read this inspiring account of how education and the belief in women’s capacity to create change can transform communities.

If you knew Anissa, feel free to use the comment field in the article to share a memory you had with Anissa.

Link to YouTube video on Anissa Najjar's life and work


To see a video in Arabic detailing Anissa Najjar’s life and work, click on the picture.