<\body> Stories in America: Syria's First Woman Vice President

Friday, March 24, 2006

Syria's First Woman Vice President

Syrians are welcoming their first ever woman vice president. Najah al-Attar, 68, has served as minister of culture from 1976 to 2000 and was most recently in charge of the ministry's translation department. She holds a doctorate from Edinburgh University and has published a number of books.

How do men in conservative Arab countries feel about the appointment?
A male political science professor at a prominent local Saudi university who did not want to be named said the political shift in Syria is a part of a greater move where women, who are underrepresented in politics in the region, have no choice but to keep their eyes on the prize and grab the fruits of power through hard work and diligence.

"There's no doubt that women are being driven to join the Arab political arena because men's representation on behalf of women's voices is poor if not totally dumb," he said. "There's no doubt that the majority of Saudi men dread the involvement and competition of women; it's called intimidation and control-loss."


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