Rula Ghani was born and raised in Lebanon to a Lebanese Christian family. She graduated in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut in 1974, where she had met her future husband, Ashraf Ghani. They got married a year later and returned to Afghanistan in 2003. Ghani holds citizenship in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the United States. She reportedly speaks Arabic, English, French, Pashto and Dari.
Mrs. Rula Ghani, the current First Lady of Afghanistan and wife of the incumbent President of Afghanistan, answered our questions in a three-hour web-chat interview which became possible through our mutual British friend. Read the summary of her remarks in the following.
"As Afghanistan's First Lady I should say Afghanistan has warm, talented, and civilized people who has not been able to achieve their proper status in the world over the past few centuries, and many other people's mindsets about the Afghan people are the result of media propaganda and delusion."
"I have been trying to carry out my human responsibilities towards Afghan people since 2014. Along with educated and active women in social sphere, we have tried hard to improve the situation of women in Afghanistan, for example violence against women is one of our major challenges in Afghanistan, or modern slavery against women under the guise of religion and Islam is widespread in Afghanistan, and we have been planning and striving against such challenges in recent years, and the President assisted me in these cultural and social projects. My husband and I can have a good life in the United States, but we have accepted the difficulty of living in Afghanistan for humanitarian purposes so that to improve part of the tragedies of the oppressed nation of Afghanistan. I consider it my duty to support all of my husband's plans and actions as President of Afghanistan."
The wife of the Afghan president, in response to those people being sensitive about the Afghan First Lady's Lebanese and Christian origin, and the circulation of a report saying she converted to Muslim, said: "I got married to the president without converting my religion and I am happy. With respect to all Muslims, there is no need to change Religion. I have respect for all national and international laws for the people of Afghanistan and do not care about what others are saying about me. As the first lady of Afghanistan, I have a huge responsibility and I would rather concentrate on my work plans to achieve the goals rather than focusing on Facebook rumors because the president has many enemies who want to use any means to attack him."
The first lady also said in response to another question about the state of democracy and freedom in Afghanistan: "Afghans still do not enter the domain of democracy and they live in traditional conditions. Freedom in Afghanistan is lacking the required depth, and people are still caught up in religious and tribal constraints and they need the exercise of democracy and liberation from such divisions. Religious and political elites in Afghanistan are considered to be the biggest obstacles to the mobilization of the nation, and I hope that these barriers will be removed in the shortest possible time, though it seems difficult and apparently impossible."
About Afghan population demographics and their cultural status, Mrs. Ghani said: "The Pashtuns of Afghanistan are the most native inhabitants of this land and majority of the population. Pashtuns are civilized people with a history of several thousand years old civilization, and those who live in the geography of Afghanistan must proudly name themselves as Afghans and Pashtuns. With that knowledge, I address my ethnicity in the official documents of Afghanistan as Pashtun. Pashtun's support is sufficient for a person to be successful in the election easily. Other ethnic groups like the Uzbeks, Tajiks and the Hazaras are not capable to do as such relying solely on their own. Weak democracy and lack of respect for the rules of democracy in Afghanistan has led other minorities to oppose this reality and try to impose their superiority with arms and violence. In any country, if the majority in the country does not rule, the country will go through crisis and violence and on the verge of collapse."
"In the 2014 presidential election, despite all the obstructionism, relying on Pashtun's support and based on public support, Mr. Ghani is now in the Presidential Palace, and this presence will last as long as people have such a will, and people are not forced to do anything. I have ignored my well-being and ease and my persistent presence in Kabul is only for the establishment of democracy and freedom, and nothing else. But it should be accepted that until people are not adapted with democracy and are inexperienced and naïve to claim their rights, we compassionate elites must help them on their way."
It should be noticed that according to the State Department spokesman, Israeli biological experts have proven that genetic link exists between Pashtuns and Jews. It seems that the Pashtun tribe living in southern and southeastern Afghanistan and in the west and northwest of Pakistan are from the lost tribes of the Jews and their origin goes back to the Jews of the Eastern Sephardim (Read more ). Given this, the future of Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan is an urgent issue and the State Department and Knesset officials should be more sensitive about the developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. and Mrs. Ghani could pave the way for the return of the Pashtun people to their historic origin.
(Article changed on July 30, 2018 at 13:36)