Women and Memory Forum

Pious Endowments in Words and Images

Amina Elbendary, 2006 Books


Pious Endowments in Words and Images
cover for print      

This book presents an attempt to introduce the concept of the Waqf (pious endowments) through presenting its definition, characteristics and uses. It also sheds light on its history and the significant role it played in previous periods through providing the needs of Arabic and Islamic societies, including education, healthcare, and religious and urban services. These diverse uses provide testimony to the flexible nature of the Waqf as an institution and the various roles it allowed women to play in Arab socieites. The book attempts to present this historical institution, which is part of the Arab cultural legacy, to lay readers in a simplified and enjoyable way through the method of “words and images” followed in a previous publication by the Women and Memory Forum. The book also poses a question as to what extent the Waqf as an institution could be put to use in contemporary Arab and Muslim societies, especially in the field of education.


Throughout Arab history, awqaf or endowments have been considered the foremost economic and social institutions which enabled civil society to promote and organize social, economic, and intellectual life. The Awqaf in Words and Images reveals the importance of this institution in the Arab world and elaborates on its historical roots and role. Moreover, the book defines the meaning of endowment, its characteristics and its uses. The book also elaborates on the integral historical roles women played as members of these organizations.

Illustrations: Sherif Arafa
Published by: Women and Memory Forum
Organziation URL: http://www.wmf.org.eg/
Record: Link:

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