Hanan Ashrawi is a Christian Palestinian political activist and scholar who has
been described as one of the most influential women in the Middle East. After
serving as Minister of Higher Education and Research for the Palestinian Authority,
in 1998, Dr. Ashrawi founded MIFTAH -- the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion
of Global Dialogue and Democracy, which works towards respect for human rights,
democracy, gender equality and peace. In 2003 she received the Sydney Peace Prize
and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 as part of the 1000 Women
for the Nobel Peace Prize project.