|Nationality Egyptian, Dutch|
Name Sawsan Ayoub
|Education Alexandria University|
|Occupation Head, Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Translation
Co-Founder of Arab-West Report
Chairwoman, Center for Arab-West Understanding|
Spouse Cornelis Hulsman (m. 1988)
Sawsan Gabra Ayoub Khalil is an Egyptian Christian civil engineer who is actively involved in projects advancing Arab-West and Muslim-Christian understanding. Sawsan Gabra is co-founder of Arab-West Report. AWR was previously called Religious News Service from the Arab World (RNSAW) (1997), and in 2005 founded the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Translation (CIDT). Sawsan Gabra Ayoub Khalil also co-founded and first chaired the Center for Arab-West Understanding (CAWU). All three organizations are based in Cairo, Egypt.
Sawsan Gabra Ayoub Khalil was born to a Coptic Orthodox family in 1963 in Alexandria, Egypt. She studied civil engineering at the University of Alexandria, Egypt, and after her marriage with Cornelis Hulsman in Alexandria in 1988 she went to the Netherlands and studied at the University of Delft. She lived in the Netherlands from 1988 to 1994, became involved in intercultural and interfaith dialogue when she returned to Egypt with her husband.
After returning to Egypt, Sawsan Gabra discovered that several Western media and activists had misrepresented incidents involving Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt, and felt that Egyptian opinions had to be translated to show different views to a Western public. As a result, in 1997, she co-founded the Religious News Service from the Arab-World (RNSAW), predecessor of Arab-West Report.
Sawsan Gabra formed the selection criteria for Arab-West Report On a daily basis Sawsan selects articles for translation and coordinates this with the translators and editors. She is also a member of the editorial board of Arab-West Report and provides analytical input for articles written for Arab-West Report.
In 2004 Sawsan Gabra became chair of the founders founding the Center for Arab-West Understanding as an Egyptian non-government organization (NGO). The procedure took much time but her work was rewarded in January 2008 with the recognition of the NGO by the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity. Due to the delays in founding the NGO, she founded the civil company Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Translation, which has been providing translation and editing services for the weekly Arab-West Report since January 1, 2006.
Sawsan Gabra participated in several investigative reports whereby her Coptic Orthodox background facilitated contacts with Orthodox priests, bishops and organizations. She has contributed to interpreting events from the Egyptian context. She assisted the Anglican scholar Father Dr. John Watson in his research for his publication 'The Transfigured Cross; A Study of Father Bīshūy Kāmil,' and Coptologist Dr. Otto Meinardus in several of his studies.
Sawsan Gabra led in April 2008 the formulation of an Egyptian petition with Egyptian Christian and Muslim leaders and intellectuals against the film 'Fitna' by Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders which was sent to the chair of the Dutch Parliament.
Sawsan Gabra Ayoub Khalil has served as 'World Servants' country coordinator for Egypt since 1997, and coordinates 'World Servants' youth visits to Egypt for cultural exchange. In her professional work it is important to her to use one standard in dealing with people of all religions and convictions.