Syrische Arabische Republik: Bouthaina Shaaban

So far Arabs, not just Syrians, have not been successful in building up social institutions like those established in Western countries.

— Bouthaina Shaaban

Bouthaina Shaaban is a professor of English Literature at Damascus University (DU), a writer and the Syrian Minister of Expatriate Affaires. Before assuming her current ministerial job, she was Director of the Foreign Media Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Syria. She has a PhD and an MA in English Literature from the University of Warwick, UK, in addition to a BA in English Literature from DU.

Inspired by her strong-willed mother, Bouthaina Shaaban has been dedicated to lifting the social injustices that have befallen women in the Arab world. Her subsequent involvement in politics and foreign affairs, as Syrian President Hafez al-Asad’s interpreter during peace negotiations, set her on a different career path. Over the past ten years, Bouthaina Shaaban has set a shining example for women who are looking forward to working close to the decision-makers in her country. Bouthaina commenced her study in the UK at a time when the social conditions in Syria had prevented many women from traveling abroad by themselves and from building up a better career. When she started her job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it was generally inappropriate for women to work in politics. However she surmounted all these social challenges and eventually obtained her degree and returned home so that her country could benefit from her experience. She joined the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in 1988. Since then, Bouthaina Shabaan has efficiently represented Syria as a notorious spokeswoman at international level. She is also a talented author. So far she has published four books and has written chapters in many others.

Damascus University (DU)