Her Story ... Woman & Family
Born on December 14, 1908, in Tanta
Heavily touched by her mother's death at 12 yrs old
Introduced to cosmopolitan Alexandria at 16 yrs old
All images courtesy of Rare Books & Special Collections Library, AUC
I. The Early Years
Born on December 14, 1908, in Tanta, Doria Shafik came from a middle class background at a time when the middle classes in Egypt were empowered and moving forward and upward. The second daughter of six children, Doria and her family moved to Mansoura shortly after her birth. Her early education took place in Tanta, where she was sent at an early age to live with her grandmother in order to attend the prestigious Notre Dame des Apôtres School. Doria’s mother died in 1920, leaving a massive void in Doria’s life. Doria recalls in her memoirs, “Such a day remains in my memory as a profound and incurable trauma, a wound so huge that it marked, with its desolation, the whole of my life.” Around the same time, Doria was engaged to be married to a distant relative, much against her wishes. Luckily for her, this engagement was called off and she was able to leave her grandmother’s home to go and live with her father in cosmopolitan Alexandria in 1924.