Secretary General - Palestinian Initiative for Global Dialogue and Democracy
"Concept, Context and Process in Peacemaking:
"We need to redefine security as human, comprehensive,multi-faceted, transnational and cultural - beyond sovereignty."
- Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi, Ph.D., a compelling and influential voice in Middle Eastern politics, has been a central player in the struggle for a Palestinian homeland. A tireless campaigner for human rights, she has distinguished herself in both academic and political arenas.
Ashrawi is the founder and secretary general of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), which was founded in 1998, and an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Jerusalem District. Founder and board member of the National Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), Ashrawi is also founder and commissioner of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR) and served as its first Commissioner General. From 1996 to 1998, she served as the minister of higher education and research. Ashrawi was a member of the Intifada Political Committee during the intifada in 1988 and served on its Diplomatic Committee until 1993. In 1991, she was named official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process and a member of the Leadership Committee.
Ashrawi holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. From 1973 to 1995, Ashrawi was a faculty member of Birzeit University, held the positions of dean, Faculty of Arts; founder and chairperson, Department of English; and founder and head of Birzeit University Legal Aid Committee/Human Rights Documentation Project.
Throughout, Ashrawi has been an advocate of human rights and gender issues and has made major contributions to peacemaking and nation building. She is the recipient of numerous international peace, human rights and democracy awards, such as the Olof Palme Award, Sydney Peace Prize, Defender of Democracy Award, Jane Addams International Women’s Leadership Award, Distinguished Alumna Award of the University of Virginia Women’s Center and Distinguished Lifetime Achievements AUB Alumni.
She is also the author of many books, articles, poems and short stories on Palestinian politics, culture and literature. Her book, This Side of Peace, gained world acclaim.
Ashrawi serves on the Advisory Board of several international and local organizations including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the International Human Rights Council. She has also received several honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Arab World.
She is married to Emile Ashrawi and has two daughters, Amal and Zeina.
Updated on 11/4/2004