Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Kolthoum Odeh

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Russia
  • Gender: Female
  • Born in: 1892
  • Age: 124
  • Curriculum vitae :


Kulthum Odeh was born April 2, 1892 for a well known family of Nazareth in the Roman neighbourhood. She was the fifth daughter for her father ‘Nasr Odeh’, who was hoping to become a father for a male earl, a son who will keep the family legacy. But he was disappointed for the baby born was a girl and not a pretty one too.
Kulthum wrote about her life: "My arrival to this world was met with tears, for everyone know how Arabs like ourselves feel when we are told about the birth of a female, especially if this unfortunate girl happens to be the fifth of her sisters, and the family has not been blessed by a boy. Such feelings of hatred accompanied me since an early age. I do not recall my father ever being compassionate with me. The thing that increased my parents’ hatred to me was the fact that they thought that I was ugly. This is why I grew up to avoid talking, evading meeting people, and focussing only on my education. "
Kulthum wrote about how her mother and all members of her family used to call her names for being silent most of the time, and how her mother used to remind her all the time that she was ugly, dark skinned, thin, and that there is no chance of her getting married. Her mother told her many times that she will end up as a maid serving her brother’s wife for the rest of her life. Such continuous degradation increased her determination to continue her studies and attempt to change her mother’s prophecies.
Kulthum finished her primary school education in Nazareth, and moved to the "Russian seminar" collage in the city of Bait Jala. The Russian Seminar used to house female teachers then. One of her lecturer was the late Khalil Sakakini who happens to be one of the Palestinian icons in the field of Arabic literature. Sakakini had a direct influence on her education and her progress afterwards. 
She was sixteen when she finished her schooling, and when returned back to Nazareth to work as a teacher at the Russian Association. During that period an Assembly of inspectors used to visit the schools, they were sent by the Russian society.
She started then publishing articles in several magazines such as "Alnafaes Alassryah" in Haifa, "Alhilal" in Cairo, and "Al-Hasnaa" in Beirut. During that period, the Palestinian press witnessed a great bloom especially in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Jaffa. 50 Palestinian newspapers were circulating at that time.


Achievements and Awards

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