Sallama Shaker

Visiting Professor of Middle East & Islamic Studies

Ambassador Sallama Shaker was the first appointed woman Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Americas in the history of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Cultural, Educational Relations, Technical Cooperation, and Dialogue for Egypt in September of 2004. For four years prior to that, she was Egypt’s ambassador to Canada. In addition to her current post, she has held several positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Deputy Minister for North and Latin America, Advisor to the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs on Egyptian/American Relations and NATO, First Secretary at the office of the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and attaché at the Soviet Desk within the ministry. From 1985-1990, Dr. Shaker served as the Consul General at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. She has also served as Economic and Political Counselor at the Embassy in Turkey, as well as Cultural and Political attaché at the Embassy of Egypt in Malta. Dr. Shaker began her education at the American College for Girls in Cairo, Egypt. She went on to earn her B.Sc. in Political Economy at Cairo University. She holds two Masters Degrees in Political Economy and Economics, from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics/Malta University respectively. In 1993 she received her Ph.D. in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Shaker was a Senior Associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center from 1992-1994, where she did research on the impact of the first Gulf War on the economies of Egypt and Turkey.

Dr. Shaker has published many articles on the issues of peace and development in the Middle East. Additional papers include
“Building Peace in the Middle East,” “Feminization of Poverty,” “Women in Islam,” “Diversity in Islam,” and “Inter-faith Respect.” She has published a book entitled State Society and Privatization in Turkey, and is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Turkish.

Dr. Shaker was a visiting professor at Claremont Graduate University and is currently teaching at Yale. Throughout her career she has been active on women’s rights in the Islamic world. In 2008 she was the organizer of a conference held at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt on Challenges facing Arab Women in the 21st Century. She authored a research on the role of NGOs in
Eradicating Poverty and overcoming Feminization of Poverty which was published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Dr. Shaker is embarking on another major work to find new approaches that can define empowerment and how to break the frames of Oriental myth that women are less than men.


"Throughout the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament there are many refrences to the sanity of water. What is less known is that the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur'an, is also replete with references to the sacredness of water. The Qur'an emphasizes the sanctity of water in many verses such as 'WE HAVE CREATED EVERY LIVING THING FROM WATER' and 'WE SEND DOWN PURE WATER FROM THE SKY THAT HEREWITH WE MAY GIVE LIFE TO DEAD LAND.' Indeed water is the symbol of life in the Qur'an and it is significant of the miracle of creation. All the verses that discuss the importance of water as a symbol of life in the Islamic Holy Book reminds us of the vitality of water as a sacred source of life that should not be taken for granted. All God's gifts to human beings are given so that we as stakeholders enjoy living and share the richness of Mother nature with a clear reminder from God as emphasized in the Qur'an: 'DON'T CORUPT THE EARTH.' 


Development and Islamic Values., In Elise Boulding, Ed. "Building Peace in the Middle East: Challenges for State and Civil Society" (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1993).

State, Society, and Privatization in Turkey, 1979 - 1990, (Woodrow Wilson Center Press/Johns Hopkins University Press: 1994).

Aid, Privatization, and Development in Turkey, 1979-1990. Translated by Kurhan-Oglu, Ankara: Metu, 1995.

Canada and The Middle East, In Theory and Practise, Co-Ed. (The Center for International Governance Innovation & Wilfried Laurier University Press, 2007).

In process:  When I was Ambassador, Cairo: Egypt 2010.  Arabic Press.


Religion, Feminization of Poverty and Globalization
Religion, Middle East Policies and Conflict Resolution
Identity Crisis, Gender and Religion: Challenges of Globalization
Religion, Cultural Diversity, Globalization and Gender
Religious Dimensions of the Middle East Peace Process


Reading poetry books in Arabic and English and French such as the poems of the Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawky and reading books for Taha Hussein and the narratives of the great Muslim theologist and reformer Mohamed Abdou. I enjoy reading books of Longfellow, Wadsworth, Emily Bronte and Guy De Maupassant. In French, I enjoy reading Paul Sarter and Molliier.
Walking and bird watching AND visiting museums seem to be part of my spiritual meditation.