Shahpur Bakhtiar was an Iranian politician best remembered for serving as the 45th Prime Minister of Iran from 6 January 1979 to 11 February 1979. Bakhtiar also wrote many articles and books, including Ma Fidélité and 37 Days after 37 Years. Shahpur Bakhtiar was killed in France on 6 August 1991 after he had escaped a couple of assassination attempts.
Afghan politician, academic, and economist Ashraf Ghani is currently serving as the president of Afghanistan. This is his second term. Previously, he held the office of minister of finance. Prior to joining politics, he was a professor of anthropology at numerous institutions. He is also one of the co-founders of the NGO the Institute for State Effectiveness.
Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian leader, legislator, activist, and scholar. She was the official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991 and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council as a representative of Jerusalem in 1996. She is also the founder of the Independent Commission for Human Rights and the author of several books.
Lebanese politician and the founder of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Antoun Saadeh was also a prolific author, who wrote several books while in prison. He announced a revolution in Lebanon and was promised support by Syria, though Syria handed him over to the Lebanese government, which eventually executed him.
Rula F. Saadah Ghani is the wife of Ashraf Ghani who served as fifth President of Afghanistan until his government was overthrown by the Taliban on August 15, 2021. The Ghani family fled from Afghanistan on the same day. Rula advocated for women’s rights as the First Lady and was named to the Time 100 list by Time magazine in 2015.
Known as Al-Hakim, or The Doctor, Lebanese politician Samir Geagea was initially part of the Kataeb Party and then joined the Lebanese Forces. Born into a family of farmers, he had started studying medicine before the civil war forced him to take up a military and political career.
Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese Druze politician who has been serving as the leader of the popular Progressive Socialist Party for many years now. A former militia commander, Walid Jumblatt also played a key role in the Syrian Civil War. Since the late-1970s, Walid Jumblatt has been the subject of photography like many other political leaders around the world.
Known for his lifelong struggle for the freedom of press, Lebanese journalist and politician Ghassan Tueni also made his father’s newspaper, An-Nahar, one of the best-known publications in the Arab world. He became an MP at age 25 and was a permanent United Nations representative from Lebanon.
Initially a lawyer, Nazim al-Kudsi later stepped into politics, joining the National Bloc and then the People's Party. He went from being the Speaker of the Syrian Parliament to being the Syrian ambassador to the US, and eventually leading the nation as the prime minister and then as the president.
Former prime minister of Lebanon, Saeb Salam played a major role in Lebanon’s struggle of independence from the French mandate. He also went above and beyond religious rule and charted a path for modernizing Lebanon. He was known for his signature cigar and carnation, and his aphorisms such as “one Lebanon not two.”
Muhammad Fadhel al-Jamali was an Iraqi politician best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 17 September 1953 to 29 April 1954. An influential political leader, Al-Jamali also served as the Foreign Minister of Iraq from 1 July 1946 to 27 January 1948. Muhammad Fadhel al-Jamali also worked as a professor at the University of Tunis.
Mai Ghoussoub was a Lebanese artist, human rights activist, writer, and publisher. Ghoussoub is credited with co-founding the London-based Saqi publishing house and bookshop. Established in 1979, the bookshop was the first of its kind in London to specialize in Arabic works.