Categories: Morocco News Society

A Modern-Day Fatima al-Fihriya: The Woman Who Founded Oujda’s ENCG

An education official has revealed Fatima al-Madrassi as the founder of Oujda’s National School of Business Management (ENCG) and a modern-day Fatima al-Fihriya, who founded Fez’s Al Quaraouiyine University.

Rabat- Following in the steps of Fatima al-Fihriya, who founded the world’s oldest still-operating university in 859 A.D., Fatima al-Madrassi volunteered to found the ENCG in 2003.

ENCG is a subsidiary of Mohamed Premier University in Oujda.

In a Facebook post on November 20, the secretary of state for higher education and scientific research, Khalid Samadi, wrote that he was surprised to find out about ENCG’s female founder and the funds on which she established the school while on a visit there.


Samadi did not state how much she had to start Oujda’s ENCG, but he noted the similarities between the two “Fatimas of Morocco” and the significance of Madrassi’s role as a philanthropist.

Madrassi is a shy woman who does not like the spotlight, Samadi said and expressed a desire to meet her.  

Read Also: Muslim Congresswoman to Work to Allow Hijab in the U.S Congress

Fatima al-Madrassi with a student at a graduation ceremony at ENCG

Samadi said that Madrassi considers all the ENCG students as her own children.

Like Fatima al-Fihriya, the daughter of a wealthy merchant whose family came from Kairouan in Tunisia, Fatima al-Madrassi is a 21st-century founder of a scholarly institution.

The 1,159-year-old University of Al Quaraouiyine, which takes its name from Kairouan, is world’s oldest existing and still-operating higher educational institution, according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records.

Al Quaraouiyine has one of the world’s oldest libraries with over 30,000 books and manuscripts, including a 9th-century Qur’an and one of the earliest collections of hadiths, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad with accounts of his daily practice.

Al Quaraouiyine Library also made it onto Times first annual list of the world’s greatest places in August 2018.