Ahmadzai, Rula Ghani Mrs.
|Name||Ahmadzai, Rula Ghani Mrs.|
|Date of birth||1948|
|Function/Grade||Wife of Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai|
|History and Biodata||
Advisor to the country’s first lady Rula Ghani Ahmadzai:
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai travelled to Lebanon to attend the American University in Beirut (he is one of the Afghan so called "Beiruti Boys"; also Khalilzad, Ahadi and Popal attended the American University in Beirut). In Beirut he met his future wife, Rula, a Libanese Maronite Christian, and earned his first degree in 1973. Rula Ghani, a Lebanese Maronite Christian in a predominantly Muslim nation, wants to provide support for every "woman who wants to better herself and improve her standard of living within the [societal] context she is living now." Now aged 66, Ghani is with degrees from leading universities in France, Lebanon and the United States. She returned to Kabul in 2002 when her husband returned home as Afghanistan’s finance minister.
Throughout her husband's presidential campaign, high-profile critics, including Mohammad Mohaqeq — deputy to rival candidate Abdullah Abdullah — sought to paint Rula as a foreigner out of touch with a Muslim society. Atta Mohammad Noor, governor of the northern province of Balkh, said Ashraf Ghani didn't "know about religion" and said his "children and wife are not Afghans." She counters that she has never felt out of place in Afghanistan. From the outset, she has said that her upbringing in a Lebanese family fluent in Arabic, French and English helped her to adjust quickly to Afghan ways. "I was immediately accepted by the family. When people realized I spoke Arabic they thought I spoke the language of the Koran," the first lady said.
This helped her to quickly learn Dari, one of the nation's two most prominent languages.
Norway will host the Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan. The symposium is being organised in close cooperation with the Afghan and US authorities and civil society organisations. Rula Ghani, Afghanistan’s new first lady, will be among those attending the symposium. Professor Husn Banu Ghazanfar, Afghanistan’s Minister of Women’s Affairs, and a number of Afghan members of parliament and activists will also be in Norway to attend the symposium. (20141114)
Rula Ghani is married and has two children, a boy Tariq and a girl Mariam.
Rula is fluent in Arabic, Dari, French and English.