Google Doodle honours Lebanese doctor Saniya Habboub

Medical pioneer was one of the first women from the country to study abroad

Google Doodle of Dr Saniya Habboub. Photo: Google
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The life of doctor Saniya Habboub is being celebrated by Google's Doodle on Friday, commemorating her graduation from medical school on June 10, 1931.

Born in 1901 to a Lebanese leather merchant and Turkish mother, Habboub was one of the first female doctors from Lebanon to study medicine abroad, in the US.

When she returned to Beirut she opened her own practice, inspiring other Lebanese girls and women to get an education of their own, according to Google's description.

In 1926, Habboub was one of the first three students to graduate from the American Junior College for Women in Beirut, going on to study at the American University of Beirut.

In 1931, she received her degree in gynaecology and obstetrics from the Women's Medical College in Pennsylvania and, in gratitude, left future students with a scholarship in her name.

She started her own practice two years later, in Bab Idriss, and went on to co-found the Lebanese Red Cross Association, as well as served as a board member for the Muslim Orphan's Home, the Young Women's Muslim Association and Maqassed Hospital.

In 1982, in honour of her devotion to medical services, the Lebanese government awarded her with a Health Medal of Merit, and there's even a street in Beirut named after her.

Habboub died aged 82 in September 1983.

"Dr Saniya was an inspiring figure who paved the way for future generations of women to come," Google says.

Dr William Stoltzfus, former president of Beirut University College, described her life as a "get-started signal" for the professional lives of many Arab women, according to Al-Raida, the bi-annual journal published by the Arab Institute for Women.

The Doodle can be seen on devices across the Middle East and North Africa.

Another Doodle that can be seen today is for Portugal National Day, honouring the country’s independence after decades of Spanish rule and paying tribute to the Portuguese sobreiro, which was recently labelled the country's national tree.

It can only be seen in Portugal.

Scroll through the gallery below to see more Google Doodles for the Mena region

Updated: November 15, 2022, 3:55 AM