Late on Tuesday, Jordan lost one of its leading intellectuals and feminists, Professor Rula Quawas, Jordan Times reported. 

In the past two days, thousands of activists, students, politicians, and intellectuals have taken to social media to honor the prominent women's rights advocate. 

According to Jordan Times, Quawas was "an associate professor of American Literature and Feminist Theory at the University of Jordan (UJ) for 25 years."

In the wake of her passing, the university's president, Azmi Mahafzah, said:

“Jordan has lost an intellectual, an academic and a thinker. A person who educated generations and carried the message of power and knowledge. A professor who dedicated her life to teaching and spreading the word.”

Other colleagues also mourned her loss, including the university's president for the Faculty of humanities, Ahmad Majdoubeh, who wrote:  

“Today, the family of the Department of English, the Faculty of Foreign Languages and the University of Jordan has lost one of its pillars, Professor Rula Quawas, who devoted her entire life to her students, her department, her faculty, her university and her calling.”

A brilliant, inspiring intellectual

Quawas received her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan in 1981, before going on to receive a master’s degree in the same discipline in 1991. 

During her years in the U.S. - where she moved to study for her PhD in American Literature - Quawas was "honored as a distinguished international scholar." 

Years later, in 2009, she was "also awarded the Meritorious Honor Award for Leadership and Dedication to the empowerment of Jordanian women by HRH Princess Basma." 

The esteemed scholar founded a Women’s Studies Center at the University of Jordan as well as the Knowledge Production Unit at the Jordanian National Commission for Women. 

She is considered "the first professor to introduce and teach feminist courses at UJ, shedding light on American and Arab feminism, and contemporary Arab and Arab-American female writers."

Tributes pour in on social media

A huge loss to Jordan and the Arab world

"Revolutionary educator and feminist Dr Rula Quawas... Rest in Peace!"

"The world has lost a fierce feminist, brilliant scholar, loving teacher"

"Rula's last email to me"

A moving tribute was also shared by the professor's friend, Hani Barghouthi

In a moving tribute written by Quawas' friend, Hani Bargouthi, he remembers her as a brilliant intellectual who touched the lives of many. 

He explains how the scholar rose above criticism when she was heavily attacked for allowing her students to film a video about sexual harassment in 2012. 

"She lived her life without shame, without doubt, without pause... she always questioned authority, and taught her students the same," Bargouthi wrote

"Jordan lost today a beacon of hope. We lost a pioneer of radical feminism, an immense academic and political mind, a sheer force of empowerment," he added

"Rest in power"