Remembering Farkhonda Hassan (1930 - 2020)


AUC mourns the loss of Farkhonda Hassan (MSc '67), professor emerita in the School of Sciences and Engineering. Members of the AUC community shared some memories of and tributes to Hassan, who taught at the University for more than five decades:

"Dr. Farkhonda was our frequent and valued guest at the U.S. Ambassador's residence when my wife and I served there over a decade ago.  She presented to distinguished foreign visitors and to young Egyptians alike an articulate and inspiring example of pioneering Egyptian women in national and international science, public service and social development. As we bear the loss of our colleague and friend, we take great comfort from her enduring legacy to AUC, her country and the world."  — AUC President Francis Ricciardone

"Dr. Farkhonda was a force of nature — brilliant, devoted, enthusiastic and profoundly, inspiringly optimistic. It wasn't that she thought things would turn out well necessarily or inevitably; she knew good outcomes require steadfast, relentless work. But what she also believed was that good, hard work pays off, and that conviction was an inspiration to generations of her students as well as many people, especially women, in Egypt and beyond who did not know her personally. May her family and friends take comfort and solace in the knowledge that her indomitable spirit lives on in those who were moved by her dedication and motivated by her example." — Former AUC President Lisa Anderson

"Professor Farkhonda Hassan taught me astronomy in my first semester of University. She was a very tough and intelligent woman. She had quite a lot of knowledge to give, and I was always in awe of her extraordinary theories of outer space and the unknown. Every question that was asked of her was responded to in the most enthusiastic and intellectual manner. I always looked forward to her classes in the morning, as her manner in reprimanding her male students was very entertaining. She had such high regard for the females in her class and wanted to inspire us to be stronger and more independent women, like herself. I learned a lot from Professor Farkhonda and was extremely saddened by the news of her passing. I’m sure she’s currently enjoying the company of the stars in the sky she so admired. May she eternally shine in peace." — Jana Shehab

"Professor Farkhonda was one of my best professors at AUC. I can still remember the positive energy overwhelming us in her astronomy class during my freshman year in 1981. Her relationship with her students never ended with their graduation from AUC, but she was always there for them as a role model and mentor. She always commented and encouraged me to write more of my HR articles at Akhbar News. I've already missed her so much since knowing of her departure from our world. RIP our beloved Professor Farkonda. You will always be in our hearts and minds." — Aya Maher, adjunct faculty

"My very dear Dr. Farkhonda, your sincere love that I always felt when you used to hug me will be always in my memory. Years ago, you taught me two courses. We spent lovely unforgettable times in several field trips with you. I have never forgotten you since then. I was so happy to meet you months ago, as you were cheerful as always. I owe you too much, as your words and advice made a lot [of difference] in my life. May your soul rest in eternal peace." — Mervat Shenouda, adjunct faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering

"Dr. Farkhonda used to let us trace the stars and find constellations for our star signs. That was my first assignment in her astronomy class. She’s a legend in astrophysics. She also taught my grandmother back in the 1960s, and that was mesmerizing for me to know!" — Salma Badr

"A fierce feminist and a strong woman to look up to. May she rest in peace, and may her beautiful soul keep inspiring women to fight hard for equality and empowerment." — Suadad Najim

"Professor Farkhonda was a great professor. Her course (Exploration of the Universe) was very interesting, and it's the first class I ever took at AUC. Professor Farkhonda is now in a better place. Rest In peace, Professor Farkhonda." — Ahmed Omar

"May she rest in peace. I absolutely loved her and learned so much from her." — Farah Sabeeh Al-Essa

"She taught me in my first semester at school. Great and passionate lady. May she rest In peace." 

"Very sorry. She was such a nice lady and a caring and enthusiastic professor. May she rest in peace." — Ghada Mohamed Sharaf

"I worked as a TA [teaching assistant] with her. She was one of the best professors that I ever worked with. She was dedicated, humble and such a respectful lady. May her soul rest in peace." — Asya Diaa

"May Dr. Farkhonda rest in peace. My deepest condolences to her family and friends." — Rasha

"I loved her astronomy class. She was a great professor. May she rest in peace." — Maha Abdel Rahman

"One of the most passionate and hardworking professors ever. May she rest in peace." — Salma Reda

Check out our AUCToday feature of Hassan and her three-generation alumni family.