Women's contributions to Arabic and Islamic society, be they cultural, religious, medical or military, have been recorded by Muslim historians throughout the ages. No biographical dictionary of any worth was considered complete unless it mentioned prominent women, a tradition stemming from the earliest Islamic biographies which all included the female companions of the Prophet as well as mothers of notable men. However, little has been written about the contribution of women from more recent contemporary central Arabian society.Published in association with Saudi Arabia's King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives, "Prominent Women from Central Arabia" explores sources ranging from published material to manuscripts, documents and oral history in an attempt to redress the balance. In all, the book contains fifty-two biographies of women who lived from the beginning of the eighteenth century until the death of King 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Saud in 1953, and the women studied include notable poets, educators and great donors of charitable works, amongst others.
Above all, the book highlights the enormous contribution of the women of Central Arabia during the period under consideration, demonstrating that, contrary to popular misconception, their influence has in fact been highly significant.