Her resolve, resilience and tenacity should act as inspiration to any woman fighting against the odds.
Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (1906 - 2000), philanthropist and fourth wife of Aga Khan III
I grew up in an Ismaili community so we followed the Aga Khan. I always remember people talking about his French wife, Begum Om Habibeh (originally Yvette Blanche), with great compassion.
They came to my parent's wedding in Calcutta -- she was wearing a sari and a mink. I had never seen anyone wear a mink before.
It is extraordinary that a glamorous European woman managed to integrate so well into Ismaili society-- she had such an empathy with the community.
She was an unlikely national treasure but we loved her like Britain loves Kate Middleton -- she was always out in the community helping the poor and elderly and would relentlessly encourage education for women.
Her legacy remains in the Om Habibeh Foundation, whose programs have contributed to health, education and inclusion in some of the poorest areas of Egypt, where her and the Aga Khan are buried.