Model Role Details

Vera Baboun

Vera Baboun

Sector : Government Officials , Representatives

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Female
  • Born in : 1964
  • Age : 52
  • Curriculum vitae :

Information

Vera George Mousa Baboun (born October 6, 1964) is a Palestinian politician and the first female mayor of Bethlehem. Baboun has a master's degree in African-American literature. Prior to her election, she was headmistress of the Roman Catholic High School in Beit Sahour and was an English literature lecturer at Bethlehem University, where she was also the dean of student affairs. Additionally, she is the chairperson of the Board of Directors for Guidance and Training Centre for Family and Children as well as a gender studies researcher looking at the role of information technology in empowering women in the Arab world. At the time of her election, she was a Ph.D. candidate in Arab-American women’s literature. Baboun is the mother of five children. She is an Arab Christian who Die Welt has noted for her striking green eyes and ambition.

Baboun led the Independence and Development bloc, made up of 12 Muslims and Christians in the Fatah movement campaigning to improve services and promote the tourism potential of Bethlehem. Her bloc was described generally as professionals and technocrats by Al-Ghad. Few expected Baboun to win. She ran against well-known male candidates as well as individuals supported by Islamists and left-wing Palestinians. By 12 Oct 2012, Fatah was leading polling by AWRAD research centre at 49%. Her bloc won the election on 20 Oct 2012 and Baboun was officially chosen as mayor in a closed session of the Bethlehem Municipal Council by the nine council members of her bloc who were popularly elected. Her opponents got six seats on the council.

As mayor, Baboun presides over a city with the highest unemployment in the West Bank. Bethlehem has a changing demographic, due to an outflux of the Christian population. She cites the presence of the Israeli West Bank barrier as an obstacle to growth by restricting the movement of people, ideas and goods. Of Bethlehem she states, "We are a strangulated city, with no room for expansion due to the settlements and the wall." She hopes to stop the flow of emigration by creating job opportunities for young people. She also hopes to regain international support lost while Hamas was in power.


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