Rula Ghani

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Rula Ghani
Rula Ghani.jpg
First Lady of Afghanistan
Assumed office
29 September 2014
Preceded by Zeenat Karzai
Personal details
Born Rula F. Saadah
1948 (age 69–70)
Nationality Lebanon
United States
Spouse(s) Ashraf Ghani (m. 1975)
Alma mater Sciences Po university, Paris
American University of Beirut
Columbia University
Religion Maronite Catholic

Rula Ghani (born Rula F. Saadah;[1][2] Afghan name: Bibi Gul[3]) is the current First Lady of Afghanistan and wife of the incumbent President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.[4]

In 2015, Rula Ghani was named to the Time 100, a list of the world's most influential people, by Time magazine.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Rula Ghani was born Rula Saade and raised in Lebanon to a Lebanese Christian family. She received a diploma from Sciences Po, France, in 1969.[6] She completed a master's degree in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut in 1974, where she had met her future husband, Ashraf Ghani.[7]

The couple married in 1975 and have two children: a daughter, Mariam Ghani, a Brooklyn-based visual artist,[8] and a son, Tariq. Rula Ghani earned another master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City in 1983. Ghani returned to Afghanistan in 2003.[9]

Ghani holds citizenship in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the United States.[3][10] She reportedly speaks Arabic, English, French, Pashto and Dari.

2014 election[edit]

In an unusual move for a politician in Afghanistan, Dr. Ghani at his presidential inauguration in 2014 publicly thanked his wife, acknowledging her with an Afghan name, Bibi Gul.[7] "I want to thank my partner, Bibi Gul, for supporting me and Afghanistan," said Dr. Ghani, looking emotional. "She has always supported Afghan women and I hope she continues to do so."[11][12] Historian, Ali A Olomi, has argued that following the precedent of Afghanistan's Queen Soraya, Rula Ghani can bring real change for women's rights in the country.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AUB Couples". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  2. ^ Rula, Saadah, (26 November 1974). "The shaping of British policy in Iraq, 1914-1921". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Rula Ghani, the woman making waves as Afghanistan's new first lady". The Guardian. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Al Arabiya: Afghan first lady in shadow of 1920s queen?". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  5. ^ Hosseini, Khaled (2015-04-16). "Time 100 Leaders: Rula Ghani". Time. Retrieved 2015-04-26.
  6. ^ Rasmussen, Sune Engel (6 November 2014). "Rula Ghani, the woman making waves as Afghanistan's new first lady". Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via
  7. ^ a b Alexander, Harriet (29 September 2014). "Ashraf Ghani inaugurated: Is Afghanistan ready for a high-profile first lady?". Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via
  8. ^ Walsh, Declan; Nordland, Rod (14 October 2014). "Jolting Some, Afghan Leader Brings Wife Into the Picture". Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via
  9. ^ O'Donnell, Lynne (27 May 2015). "AP Interview: Afghanistan's first lady breaks taboos but insists she 'doesn't do politics'". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Afghanistan's next first lady, a Christian Lebanese-American?". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  11. ^ "WSJ". Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via
  12. ^ "Foreign Policy: The real first ladies of Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Afghanistan's New President Thinks His Wife Can Play a Decisive Role in the Country's Future Despite Her Gender. Why He's Right". Retrieved 26 November 2017.