February 26, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Kuwaiti economist Rola Dashti will give the talk, "Women and Politics in the Middle East," Wednesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Theater in the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free to the public, is sponsored by the political science department and the international relations program.

Humanitiarian Award

Winner of The King Hussein Humanitarian Award in 2005, Dashti worked with the International Red Cross to assist refugee families from the south in Lebanon in1982, and for the economic empowerment of women in the Republic of Yemen. She is a leading activist in the Middle East and North Africa region advocating democratic reform, fighting for gender equity and increasing the role of women in public life. 

A leading international advocate in women's rights, Dashti was listed among the world's 100 most powerful Arabs in 2007, as the first woman elected to chair the Kuwaiti Economic Society, which was founded in 1970. Head of an international consultancy firm in Kuwait focusing on privatization and activation of small and medium enterprises, she is a member of the executive committee of Young Arab Leaders and is the founder of the Women's Participation Organization.

Historical election

Dashti received her doctorate in population economics from Johns Hopkins University where she lectured and managed research in development and applied economics. She lobbied for the May 2005 decree permitting Kuwaiti women to vote and run for parliamentary elections for the first time, and was a candidate in the historical parliamentarian election in 2006.

She has been manager of the economics department at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and senior economist at the National Bank of Kuwait and the World Bank. Dashti also managed all the contracts signed on behalf of the government of Kuwait for the Emergency and Reconstruction Program during the invasion-to-post liberation period from 1990-1991.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Feb. 26, 2008