Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, PhD, 57, is the first Muslim president of Hindu-majority Mauritius state. An academic, before turning a politician, Ameenah was Dean of Faculty and pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Mauritius.
Dr. Ameenah addressed the opening ceremony of the European Development Days 2016 in Brussels on June 15, 2016.
Mauritius, once known by the Arabic name Dina Arobi, is a small island situated in the Indian Ocean about 500 miles east of Madagascar. Madagascar was one of the six lands offered to the World Zionist movement. The others were Uganda, Birobidjan (Soviet Russia), Alaska, Khazaria (Soviet Russia), and Palestine.
While Arab and Malay sailors knew of Mauritius as early as the 10th century AD and Portuguese sailors first visited in the 16th century, the island was first colonised in 1638 by the Dutch. They named it after prince Maurice of Nassau who abandoned the colony in 1710.
The island had no indigenous population, but became populated by waves of immigrants due to colonialism, plantation slavery, the indenture system, and French (1715-1810) and British (1810-1968) colonial mercantile interests, which shaped the socio- cultural environment of the island. Mauritius gained independence from Britain in 1968 and became a republic in 1992 by removing Queen Elizabeth II as ceremonial head of the country.
Mauritius is one of the richest, and least corrupt countries in Africa, a middle-income nation of some 1.3 million people with a per capita GDP of just over $9 000. Country’s citizens are made up of Indian, African, Chinese and European origins. The main religions are Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Muslims represent 17% of the total population. Pakistan is the most popular country amongst Mauritius followed by Saudi Arabia. President Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim just completed a 4-day visit to Pakistan last week.
Last year, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited Mauritius. He called it “a role model of democracy and accountability.”
While American voters are debating whether to put first woman in the White House, Dr. Ameenah is amongst the nine female head of governments around the world. The others are Pakistan’s twice prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina, and Khaleda Zia (1991-96 and 2001-2006), Kosova’s present president Atifete Jahjaga (here), president of Kyrgystan Roza Otunbayeva (2010-11), Mame Madior Boye, prime minister of Senegal (2001-2002), Megawati Sukarnoputri Sukarno, president of Indonesia (2001-2004), and Turkey’s prime minister Dr.Tansu Çiller (1993-96).
Since 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has five female vice-presidents.