Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria when she was just 17 years old. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam, in addition to their secular schooling. A surprising cultural shift is underway—women are claiming space within the mosque, a place historically dominated by men.Challenging tradition, Houda insists education for women is a form of worship. Using Qur’anic teachings, she encourages her students to pursue higher education, jobs, and public lives, while remaining committed to an interpretation of Islam prioritizing women’s role as wives and mothers.
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