Legislator and Human Rights Director Hanan Ashrawi

One of the most articulate and compelling voices in Middle East politics, Hanan Ashrawi is a legislator and the founder of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue (MIFTAH). The daughter of one of the founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a Lebanese mother, Ashrawi received her doctorate from the University of Virginia in Medieval and Comparative Literature and then returned to the West Bank (1973) to establish the Department of English at the well-respected Birzeit University.

In the decades that followed, Ashrawi was sought after to present the Palestinian perspective on various matters of the day. A passionate lifelong advocate of peace, she participated in the Madrid peace conference (1991-92) as a member of the Palestinian Leadership Committee delegation. Her presence not only helped the delegation articulate the Palestinians’ positions on an international stage for the first time, but her presence also helped to dispel widely-held notions on Palestinian women.

The following is a 2009 interview Ashrawi gave about women’s rights. Please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xHU2xrnvZA

The author of “This Side of Peace: A Personal Account,” she is the recipient of countless award relating to her peace and human rights advocacy. They include the Sydney Peace Prize, the Jane Addams International Women’s Leadership Award, the Distinguished Alumna Award of the University of Virginia Women’s Center, and the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation

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