|First Lady of Afghanistan|
|Assumed office |
29 September 2014
|Preceded by||Zeenat Karzai|
Rula F. Saadah
1948 (age 70–71)
|Spouse(s)||Ashraf Ghani (m. 1975)Marsh Milo (m. 1973)Zumba Aaron (m. 1970)|
|Alma mater||Sciences Po university, Paris|
American University of Beirut
|Religion||Maronite Catholic Christian|
Rula Ghani was born Rula Saade and raised in Lebanon to a Lebanese Christian family. She received a diploma from Sciences Po, France, in 1969. She completed a master's degree in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut in 1974, where she had met her future husband, Ashraf Ghani.
The couple married in 1975 and have two children: a daughter, Mariam Ghani, a Brooklyn-based visual artist, and a son, Tariq. Rula Ghani earned another master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City in 1983. Ghani returned to Afghanistan in 2003.
In an unusual move for a politician in Afghanistan, Dr. Ghani at his presidential inauguration in 2014 publicly thanked his wife, acknowledging her with an Afghan name, Bibi Gul. "I want to thank my partner, Bibi Gul, for supporting me and Afghanistan," said Dr. Ghani, looking emotional. "She has always supported Afghan women and I hope she continues to do so." Historian, Ali A Olomi, has argued that following the precedent of Afghanistan's Queen Soraya, Rula Ghani can bring real change for women's rights in the country.
As First Lady, Ghani has been an advocate for women's rights.
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