SOAS University of London

About SOAS

HRH Princess Wijdan bint Fawaz Al-Hashemi

Princess Wijdan

Princess Wijdan earned her PhD in Islamic Art and Archaeology from SOAS in 1993. She is the Jordanian ambassador to Italy, and for many years she also has been an ambassador for Islamic art in Jordan and throughout the Arab world.

Princess Wijdan shares with SOAS a commitment to the study, preservation and exhibition of Islamic art. An art historian and curator, she established Jordan’s Royal Society of Fine Arts In 1979, which in turn led to the founding of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. In 2001 she founded and became Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan.

She is the curator of numerous exhibitions inside and outside Jordan. Princess Wijdan has written nine books on traditional and contemporary Islamic art, in Arabic and English, and has contributed to or edited several others. She has been a visiting professor at universities in Europe, the United States and the Middle East and has published numerous papers in academic journals. She is herself an artist, with work in museums including the British Museum and Ashmolean Museum in the UK, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in the USA and the National Gallery in Islamabad.

Princess Wijdan cuts a no-less-impressive figure in the diplomatic world. In 1962 she became the first woman to enter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jordan. She was also the first woman delegate to represent Jordan at United Nations meetings and the General Assembly.