Ahmed Aboul Gheit

His Long Journey to Become the Arab League’s Secretary General

  1. Early Life and Education

Ahmed Aboul Gheit was born on June 12, 1942 in Masr El Gedida, Cairo, Egypt. In 1962, he graduated from Ain Shams University with a bachelor’s degree in business. He did not pursue a career based on his chosen degree as he started working for the Egyptian foreign ministry in 1965.

  1. Marriage and Family Life

Aboul Gheit is married to Laila Kamal El Din Saleh and together they have two children. He has stated that his wife has been supportive of all his endeavors and has never given up on him. He also said that his wife took it upon herself to focus on their children’s wellbeing and education.

  1. His Rise in Diplomacy

Aboul Gheit’s rise on the diplomacy ladder has been gradual. In 1968, he became the Third Secretary to at the Egyptian Embassy in Cyprus. He returned to Egypt in 1972, where he started working at the National Security Advisor’s office until 1974. Between 1974 and 1977 he worked as the First Secretary for Egypt's Ambassador to the United Nations. From 1977 to 1979, he was the first secretary at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1979 to 1982 he was Political Consultant at the Egyptian Embassy in the Soviet Union and in 1984 he became the Egyptian Foreign Minister’s political advisor. He was then promoted as the Prime Minister’s special advisor. Between the years of 1992 to 1996 he became the Egyptian Ambassador to Italy, Macedonia and San Marino, respectively. Then between 1996 and 1999 he was the Egyptian Foreign Minister’s assistant. All his hard work paid off as he was finally appointed as Egypt’s Foreign Minister in 2004 and he remained at the post until the Arab Spring which saw the removal of long time President Hosni Mubarak from power. He would take time off from politics until June 2016 when he was elected as the Secretary General of the Arab League.

  1. His Memoirs

During his time off between 2011 and 2016, his first set published in 2011 was titled: “Witness to War and Peace: Egypt, the October War, and Beyond”. The following year he published his second memoir called: “My Testimony”.

  1. Views on Arab Spring and Current Terror Crisis

Aboul Gheit has long been a critic of the Arab Spring, he famously said “The Arab Spring is a catastrophe, it has entirely destroyed states as well threatened the future of their people. “

He is not optimistic that the terror crisis can be quickly resolved as he believes that defeating groups that spread such fundamentalist ideology to the youth will take decades.

 


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