PNN met with a potential Palestinian Legislative Council minister Saturday. Dr. Khawla Ragheb Al Shakshir is a professor and a Hamas party member.
Her involvement in higher education may be her ticket into a solid Ministry position. Dr. Al Shakshir is a university and educational science supervisor, a former school teacher, and holds several university degrees herself, including a BA from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and a MA and a PhD from the University of Colorado in the US in 1981 in the Science of Education.

She is also involved in educating educators at Ramallah’s Birzeit University, Nablus’ An Najah University and Al Quds University.

She currently holds a position at Birzeit University and was President of its Master’s Program. Dr. Al Shakshir told PNN, “When I reached professor status I was the first woman in Palestine to hold that rank.”

She has written more than 20 research papers and one of her books, regarding education in Palestine, was published in both English and Arabic at the bequest of the United Nations in 1993. Dr. Al Shakshir was also nominated as Doctor to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Education.

During all of this, Dr. Al Shakshir manages to visit her son in the Israeli Ofer Prison just outside Ramallah in the West Bank.

She says that since her name was announced as a candidate for the Ministry, her phone has not stopped ringing. It is the foreign press calling, issuing their surprise that a woman and a member of Hamas, is such an entitled candidate for the position of Palestine’s Minister of Education.

However, the Hamas party reiterates that it has not officially published any names for ministry positions and the media reports to the contrary are neither confirmed nor denied.