Najah al-Attar

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Najah al-Attar
نجاح العطار
Vice President of Syria
Incumbent
Assumed office
23 March 2006
President Bashar Assad
Preceded by Zuhair Masharqa
Minister of Culture
In office
1 December 1976 – 19 January 2000
President Hafez Assad
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Maha Qanout
Personal details
Born (1933-01-10) 10 January 1933 (age 81)
Damascus, Syria
Nationality Syrian
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Other political
affiliations
National Progressive Front
Relations Issam al-Attar (brother)
Profession Linguist, writer
Religion Islam

Najah Al-Attar (Arabic: نجاح العطار‎; born 10 January 1933) is the Vice President of Syria. She is the only woman to have held the post and has served since 2006.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Attar was born on 10 January 1933 and raised in Damascus, as a member of an Sunni Muslim family.[2][3][4] Her father was among the first Arab nationalist leaders who took part in the 1925-1927 Syrian revolt against the French Mandate of Syria. She studied at the University of Damascus, graduating in 1954, and obtained PhD in Arabic literature from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom in 1958.[5] She also received a number of certificates then in international relations and in literary and art criticism.

Career[edit]

Attar is an accomplished translator and started teaching in high schools within Damascus after her return from Scotland, then worked in the Department of Translation of the Syrian Ministry of Culture. In 1976, she was appointed as minister of culture[5] and served in the post until 2000. On 23 March 2006, she was appointed vice president.[2]

Political alignment[edit]

Although Attar is vice-president and served as a long-term minister in Syria, a state largely controlled by the secular Ba'ath Party, her brother, Issam al-Attar is the leader of the Damascus faction of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and has lived in exile in Aachen, West Germany since the 1970s which saw a government persecution of various Islamist political movements.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Syria’s First Female Vice President Hailed as Progress for Women". Arab News. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Moubayed, Sami (30 March – 5 April 2006). "Vice-President Najah al-Attar". Al Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Assad inner circle takes hard line in Syria conflict The Daily Star, 26 December 2012
  4. ^ Syria Country Studies
  5. ^ a b "The First Woman Minister in the Syrian Government". Al Raida (2). September 1997. Retrieved 25 September 2013.