Who is Abla Nazeera?

Abla Nazeera is Abla Nazeera, we arabs know her as the famous chef lady with the most famous cookbook in Egypt and the Arab word, and since this blog is named after her, I found her bio to share it with you.

Taken from here Food Lover’s Blog

Chef Nazira Nicola the most famous Egyptian and Arabian cook, who wrote the first and the biggest Arabic cooking & recipes encyclopedia. She is the most famous Arabic writer in the Arab world.

Nazeera Nicola (born 1902 in Egypt) is a famous cook and writer who gained fame through her Book “Cooking Essentials” which we call it in Arabic countries “Ketab Abla Nazeera”, she studied at the Faculty of Home Economics and Housekeeping in Egypt. In 1926 the Ministry of Education decided to send the most talented students in all disciplines to complete the graduate studies abroad, and one of the disciplines was her field. So 14 girls were selected from her Faculty and Nazeera Nicola was one of them, to study at the University of Gloucester in England for a period of three years in the culinary arts and needlework. “At that time it wasn’t easy for families to accept the idea of letting their daughters study abroad but their Uniqueness in this field didn’t let a chance for their families to refuse” said Dr. Sadik, Nazeera’s eldest son.

When she was back to Egypt after finishing her studies, she worked as a teacher of (Women Culture and Housekeeping) in “Saneya Girls School” in Egypt, and had been urging her students to love the kitchen and decorating the table with the simplest things, as she believed that cooking is an art like the rest of the arts.She graduated in her Job and became a General Inspector in the Ministry of Education.
Once again The Ministry of Education had another announcement in the early 40s, about a competition between all teachers in this field for writing a cooking book to be approved by The Ministry and be used in teaching girls in schools. Of course “Abla Nazeera” decided to join that competition, with “Baheya Othman” who graduated from Bridge House Faculty in England and was a general inspector too, and they wrote this book “Cooking Essentials”, which had the first place in the competition and had fame all over the Arabic countries, according to its great variety of recipes and her easy writing style, which was so easy for the expert woman and also the beginner in cooking.

Nazeera Nicola didn’t have any trade intention when she wrote the book, on the contrary she simply wanted to provide summary of her experiences and what she studied in England in this book so that could open the door for the girls who wanted to master the art of cooking. However the number of the book editions became approximately twelve, during which it was modified in line with the modern measurements, as the original copy of the book contained old measurements, then it had several parts up to 18 to become part of a comprehensive encyclopedia of all forms of cooking.

From teaching and writing books “Abla Nazeera” moved to the radio while many housewives were waiting to listen to her daily delicious recipes, besides writing in Eve magazine, and continued presenting her delicious recipes even after her program cessation.

The funniest thing is what Dr. Wafaa Amer her daughter in law says: “Imagine a wife who cooks for Abla Nazeera’s son, how is he going to accept her food?! She adds, laughing: at the beginning of my marriage, I didn’t have any idea of the kitchen and did not even think of entering it. But “Abla Nazeera” who was characterized by good sense of humor and very simplicity did not pay attention to that and insisted on teaching me all the culinary arts. In one month I became aware of all the kitchen arts and that’s what I owe her.”

Nazeera Nicola passed away 1992 at the age of 90 years, and her book still there in every Arabic house till now


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