Bouthaina Shaaban (بثينة شعبان) (born. Homs, 1953) is currently the political and media adviser to the President of Syria. Shaaban served as the first Minister of Expatriates for the Syrian Arab Republic, between 2003—2008, and has been described as the Syrian "regime's face to the outside world." Born in Homs and a member of the Baath Party since the age of 16, she was educated in Britain and obtained her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Warwick.
Shaaban worked first as an interpreter for the Syrian presidents Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar al-Assad. Under Hafez she became an "adviser to the Foreign Ministry," and in 2003 she was named Minister of Expatriates, "a new post created to try to lure wealthy Syrian expatriates abroad — or at least their resources — back home." In 2008 she was appointed political and media adviser to president Bashar al-Assad. Between 1985—2003 she was also the professor of Romantic poetry at the English department of Damascus University.
Shaaban was particularly visible in English-speaking media after the Valentine's Day 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, when she did several television interviews and wrote several oped pieces attacking the United Nations probe into Syrian involvement in the murder and insisted that Israel and the United States were responsible for Hariri's murder.
In 2005 Shaaban was presented with "the Most Distinguished Woman in a Governmental Position" award by the Arab League. She is married with two daughters and a son.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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