Hanan Ashrawi broke on to the global scene in 1988 during an interview between Israelis and Palestinians on ABC’s Nightline. Brilliant, articulate, pragmatic, and Christian - she surprised the world. Ashrawi’s father was a founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. She has been active in Palestinian leadership circles all her life. In 1991, Yasser Arafat appointed her as the official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Process. She later served as Palestinian Minister of Higher Education and Research and as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for Jerusalem. In 1998, Ashrawi resigned from the Palestinian Authority in protest against political corruption and founded the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She is an Anglican Christian, a feminist, an author, poet, and diplomat, and a brave proponent of nonviolent resistance in the most violent situation in the world. Hanan Ashrawi was interviewed in September 2004 by Sojourners associate editor Rose Marie Berger in Washington, D.C.
Sojourners: Your father was a doctor, writer, and founding member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. How did your parents shape your political and spiritual perspective and commitments? Tell me about your family. I know that your father was very influential but your mother was too - in terms of your faith and also your political perspective.