In 2017, the world lost a an incredible academic, a women's rights advocate, and a dear friend of the Fulbright Commission who was also a Fulbright Alumna under the S-I-R award back in 2013.
The late Dr. Rula Quawas was a notable and incredible Jordanian academic and a dear friend and mentor to many, known for her advocacy for women's advancement and empowerment in Jordan. Dr. Rula helped to support other academics and even her own students to change the narrative of women in Jordan and beyond. She was also the first to introduce courses on feminism at the University of Jordan and in 2006, she founded the university’s Women’s Studies Center that is still a major academic program to this day.
Dr. Quawas was a close friend to the Fulbright Commission in Jordan, and was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence (S-I-R) at Champlain College in Vermont for the academic year 2013-14. One of the courses Dr. Rula taught was on contemporary Arab women writers; where she highlighted literature within its cultural,socio-economic and historic context, and talked about the significance of politics and economics of gender relations in the Arab world.
During that year in residence, Dr. Quawas was busy teaching courses, as well as speaking at different events on campus and visiting other universities in the U.S. who had the chance to learn from Dr. Quawas and get a rare insight into the construct of gender in the Arab world through the eyes of an incredible academic who an Arab women herself,taking the lead on a discourse that is often appropriated by men.
Dr. Quawas was appreciated and loved by many, and was recognized for her passion, mentorship and dedication to her field and received several awards including the Meritorious Honor Award for Leadership and Dedication to the Empowerment of Jordanian Women by Princess Basma in 2009 and was nominated for the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2013.