Saturday, May 19, 2007

New French Justice Minister, highest ranking person of North African origin.

Lawyer Rachida Dati, was born in 1965 in Saint Rémy, of a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother. She lost her mother when she was just 16 and she felt like she "had been punished", as her mother was everything to her and her 11 siblings.

She managed to study economics and law while working in a private clinic and got her degrees in both fields. She worked for both public and private companies, namely the oil giant Elf.

In 2002, she wrote a letter to the new French president Nicholas Sarkozy, then freshly appointed as interior minister. And she offered to advise her on matters of immigration. Which he agreed to and hired her as his adviser. She managed to help him keep a somewhat positive figure, after the notorious racist comments he made after the 2005 riots which, as we all know, included inner city youths of North African and Sub-Saharan origin. BBC online has more.