Fatima Al Fihri was the daughter of wealthy trade merchant Mohammad Al-Fihri. Her birth date is unknown, though she died in 880 A.D. Her family migrated from Kairoun, Tunisia to Fes, Morocco. She was born into a very prestigious, well-known family, and was well educated and rich. She and her sister Mariam Al-Fihri inherited a large fortune from her father. Both girls vowed to spend their inheritance to benefit the community. While her sister decided to build the grand mosque Al-Andalus, Fatima set out to build the first degree granting university in the world still existing today.
In 859 Fatima Al-Fihri completed the construction of the University of Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco. It became a major advanced learning institution in medieval times. This was a very special and complex school as it taught many subjects for that time period. Subjects taught include grammar, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, history, and many more. The school was actually for both genders and welcomed non-Muslims as well.
Centuries have passed since the university was built. Back then people went to others houses or had private instructors to get an education. This university started the entire concept of what we call today “school”. What she did provided us with a higher form of education we need to be successful and have the qualifications needed for a job. Professions such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers, which are jobs that help provide the essential needs of a community.
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