(1946 - )
Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian legislator, activist and diplomat. She has served on the Palestinian Legislative Council and was the first woman elected to the Palestinian National Council.
Ashawi was born in 1946 in Ramallah, on the West Bank in Palestine. Her
father was a founder of the Palestine
Ashrawi received her Bachelor and Master's degrees
in literature from the Department of English at the American University
of Beirut. After earning her Ph.D. in Medieval and Comparative Literature
from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Ashrawi returned to
the West Bank in 1973 to establish
the Department of English at Birzeit University. She served as Chair
of that department from 1973 to 1978, and again from 1981 through 1984;
and from 1986-1990 she served the university as Dean of the Faculty
of Arts. She remained a faculty member at Birzeit University until 1995,
publishing numerous poems, short stories, and papers and articles on
Palestinian culture, literature, and politics and editing the Anthology
of Palestinian Literature. In the field of literature, she is author
of The Modern Palestinian Short Story: An Introduction to Practical
Criticism; Contemporary Palestinian Literature under Occupation; Contemporary Palestinian Poetry and Fiction; and Literary
Translation: Theory and Practice. In addition to the publications
on literature cited above, Dr. Ashrawi's most recent writings include
From Intifada to Independence and her autobiography, This Side of
Peace: A Personal Account.
In 1991, she was appointed official spokeswoman of
the Palestinian Delegation at the Middle
East Peace Conference in Madrid. Ashrawi headed the Preparatory
Committee of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens' Rights
in Jerusalem, and was the
Founder and Commissioner General of that committee until 1995.
From 1996 through 1998, she served as Palestinian
Authority Minister of Higher Education and Research in Arafat's first government in Palestine but withdrew in 1998 because of concerns
In August 1998, Ashrawi founded the Palestinian Initiative
for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, and has served as
secretary general of that organization since that time. Ashrawi has
also served since 1996 as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative
Council, Jerusalem District.
She is married and has two daughters.
Sources: BICOM; Wikipedia