Skip to main content

Palestine's first female governor recounts her struggle

Palestine's first female governor, Laila Ghannam, talks to Al-Monitor about her journey in politics and stresses that she owes her success to her supportive family.

When it came to explaining the secret behind her success, Laila Ghannam gave credit to her family — in particular, her father. A supportive family is necessary for the success of women, she told Al-Monitor. "In our family, my father supported our decisions, and he always used to tell us, 'Anyone who does not make mistakes will not learn.'"

The journey of this Palestinian woman to become Palestine's first female governor in January 2010 did not come easily. “I entered university five years after I finished high school because my brothers were arrested by the Israeli occupation,” she said. “Once things calmed down in the family, and one of my brothers came out of prison, I went to university. I was fighting against time, and I managed to get a bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree in 8½ years — a record time.” She studied at Minia University in Egypt and received her doctorate in psychology and counseling.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.