MOYAL, ESTHER


MOYAL, ESTHER (1873–1948), Arabic journalist and feminist. Esther Moyal, a member of the Lazari (al-Azharī) family of *Beirut, began taking part in public affairs in 1893, while she was teaching for the Scottish Church mission. She took over the correspondence of the Lebanese Women's League and in the same year was sent to Chicago to represent *Lebanon at the International Women's Conference. She was active in various women's organizations such as Bākūrat Sūriya ("The Dawn of Syria") and Nahdat al-Nisā' ("The Awakening Women"). In 1894 she married a medical student, Simon Moyal, in *Jaffa. After he qualified they settled in *Cairo, where in 1898 Esther founded the monthly al-ʿĀʾila ("The Family"), which became a weekly in 1904. She also became a frequent contributor to the leading Cairo daily, al-Ahrām and the Egyptian literary periodical al-Hilāl. The Moyals moved to Jaffa in 1908 and the following year she helped establish an organization of Jewish women in the city. In 1913 she became joint editor with her husband of the Jaffa periodical, Sawt al-ʿUthmāniyya ("The Voice of Ottomanism"). Widowed in 1915, she went to live in Marseilles, returning to Jaffa in the mid-1940s. Her writings include a life of Emile Zola and Arabic translations of French books.

[Hayyim J. Cohen]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.