Druze historian and poet Dr. Reda Mansour has been appointed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as Israel's next ambassador to Brazil. He will enter his new position in the summer.
Mansour was born in 1965 in the Druze village of Isfiya in northern Israel. He has a Ph.D from the University of Haifa's Middle East History Department and is a graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Ambassador Mansour has received the Haáretz Annual Short Story Award, as well as the Haifa University Miller Award. He has published three books of Hebrew poetry and speaks 5 languages.
Mansour has been ambassador to Ecuador, deputy ambassador to Portugal and served as consul-general to the South-Eastern United States.
In an article originally appearing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on February 5th, 2007, Dr. Mansour wrote:
Dr. Mansour joins two other Druze diplomats: Naim Aryadi, Israel's ambassador to Norway, and Baheej Mansour, Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
My grandfather, who lived to be more than 100 years old, used to say, “I’ve seen them all and there are none like the Jews.”Our small Druze town had remained virtually the same for hundreds of years under Ottoman and later British rule. When Israel was established in 1948, rapid development ensued, and for the first time, our homes had electricity and running water and every child received a quality, free education.Even among all that modernity and relative luxury, my grandfather’s greatest praise for Israel came as a result of how the young state treated its less fortunate citizens. For the first time in his life, my grandfather, a retired factory worker, received a pension and had access to quality health care. He said that a society could be judged by the way it treats the elderly, sick and unemployed and that Israel had proved itself both strong and compassionate. Certainly, he would say, such a nation would prevail.