Sheikha Munira Qubeysi is the founder of Qubeysiat, an Islamic group created for women, focusing on organising religious lessons for them.
It has been regarded as instrumental in the spread of religious sentiment amongst young women in the region. The movement was banned in Syria until 2006, when the Syrian government eventually gave its approval and allowed it to teach religion in the country’s mosques. The foundation directs over 80 schools in Damascus alone, teaching 75,000 students. Born in 1933, Sheikha Munira has seen her organisation spread throughout the Middle East, as a result of which, she now has a huge network of madrassas, all built without attracting the ire of local government. By training a new generation of female Islamic scholars, Sheikha Qubeysi has made Islamic knowledge widely accessible.