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Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi

Doctor of Civil Law

Hanan Mikhail-Ashrawi is an academic and human rights activist who has dedicated her life to the international cause of peace. She was conferred a Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa in absentia at the fall convocation ceremony by Saint Mary's.

Last year, Dr. Ashrawi was named one of the 100 Personalities of the Century and one of the top 50 Women of the Century. From 1996 to August 1998, she served as Minister of Higher Education and Research while becoming the elected Head of the Political Committee/PLC. She has been an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council - Jerusalem District. Since August 1998, she founded and has served as the Secretary General of The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy - MIFTAH.

Dr. Ashrawi was born in Nablu, Palestine. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in English from the American University of Beirut. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1993, she received a Doctor of Humane Letters from The Virginia Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Laws degree from Bath University, England. Last year Dr. Ashrawi received a Doctors of Humane Letters from both Smith and Earlham Colleges; and a Doctorim Universitatis (honoris causa) from Vrije University of Brussels in 1997.

Since becoming a faculty member at Birzeit University in the early 1970s, Dr. Ashrawi created the Department of English and went on to serve as its chairperson. She is the founder of the Birzeit University Legal Aid Committee/Human Rights Action Project. Mikhail-Ashrawi has been the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Birzeit University. Mikhail-Ashrawi has served on the Intifada Political Committee, and was the official spokesperson of the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Process. She has an impressive list of publications, she was the first holder of the Marvin Weissberg Distinguished Chair in International Studies at Beloit Colle, and this year held the Leo Goodwin, Sr. Professor of Law, Nova Southeastern University Law Centre. She has also earned a significant number of distinguished service awards, including The Jane Addams International Women's Leadership Award.