Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, affectionately known as “Mama Suzanne” throughout Egypt.
Mubarak is a champion for the rights of children and women. She works to eradicate illiteracy in her country, supports health initiatives for mothers and children, and is a strong advocate of equal education opportunity for all boys and girls in Egypt.
She received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Sociology of Education. For the Master’s degree, her topic of study was “Social Action Research in Urban Egypt: A Case of Primary School Upgrading in Bulaq.”
Mrs. Mubarak understands the power of communication and education in changing the world and serves as a patron of the children’s television series, Alam Simsim, Egypt’s version of the American series, Sesame Street. She affects positive change in her country, boosting literacy rates in Egypt and preparing young children for school, particularly young women. Mubarak supports this program because “Alam Simsim is intelligent children’s programming that can instill certain ideas and values that are indispensable in today’s world.”
Suzanne Mubarak is the founder and president of EBBY, which is the Egyptian chapter of International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Mrs. Mubarak has arranged a campaign called Reading for All, which seeks to increase literacy by encouraging reading aloud to children. In addition, she has established portable libraries and published low cost books for children and adults.
Suzanne Mubarak is the technical advisor for the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood in Egypt. Some of the goals of the council include: the reinforcement of women’s roles in society, the study and resolution of problems confronting women, the improvement of women’s performance in society, the monitoring of education of children, and the establishment of a healthy environment for children.
The list of international awards that Mrs. Mubarak has received is long and includes:
*The International Tolerance Prize from the European Academy for Arts and Sciences,
*the Health for All Gold Medal from the World Health Organization in recognition for improving the quality of life for women and children,
* the Honorary Fulbright Award for commitment to education, and
*the International Book Committee,
* International Book Award for her work in promoting reading in Egypt.
*Making a Difference Award from iEARN, USA. iEARN is a non-profit global network that uses the Internet and technology to bring young people together for collaborative educational projects.
Excerpts from Community Heroes by Christian Walsh