Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sana al-Sayegh

Sana al-Sayegh is the dean of the Science and Technology Faculty at the University of Palestine International.[1] She has represented the university at numerous conferences around the world over the past few years and is considered one of the most prominent experts in her field.[1]

[edit] Conversion

Al-Sayegh's conversion to Islam from Christianity in August 2007, provoked a controversy. Fatah officials accuse their political rival Hamas of kidnapping al-Sayegh forced her to convert to Islam.[2] Hamas has denied the allegation.

Meeting her mother at the home of a Hamas official, she told her "Yes, God has guided me through the right path." The mother, however, later claimed that her daughter was forced to make that statement.[1] Other sources close to the family claim that al-Sayegh called them to indicated she was forced to marry a Muslim professor at the University.[3]

Ala Aklouk, a senior Muslim cleric in Gaza City said he met the professor and concluded that she converted to Islam of her free will. He denied allegations that she was covnerted because of her marriage to a Muslim man. Further, he claimed that the professor was "afraid" to tell her family about her conversion.[1]

Hanan Matar, a female activist working for the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said she met with al-Sayegh, who denied having converted because of her marriage. She described al-Sayegh's behaviour as that of a "religious Muslim woman".[1]

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