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Known for Being

The first Minister of Information in Jordan.

A former member of the Jordanian Senate.

A human rights activist.

Major Accomplishments

Leila Sharaf is a Jordanian politician, as one of the first woman Ministers in Jordan. She is a former member of the Jordanian Senate and Minister of Information. On the request of King Hussein of Jordan, Sharaf joined the Cabinet as Jordan's first Minister of Information in 1984. During her term, she lifted restrictions on the Jordanian media. Ten months later, however, she resigned after King Hussein reprimanded the media for "exceeding the limits of reality, knowledge, and responsibility". Her resignation was a bold move in a country where direct political opposition was not accepted. Sharaf was made a senate member in 1989. She's also the Vice President of Arab Foundation for Modern Thought and helped establish the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in Jordan. She attended the American University of Beirut (AUB) and completed her BA in 1959 and MA in Arab literature in 1965.

Sharaf was the chair of the Board of Trustees of Philadelphia University in Jordan and of the Palestine International Institute. She served on several boards, including the International Academy Schools (Amman); the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (where she served as former president), the King Hussein Foundation and the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation, the Arab Institute for Human Rights (Tunisia), the Center for Arab Unity Studies (Beirut), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), and the United Nations University (Costa Rica). She was a member of the World Affairs Council (Amman) and a former vice president of the Higher National Committee of the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts.

Last modified: 04/03/2019

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