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Alwi Shihab
Alwi Shihab aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (cropped).jpg
Foreign Minister of Indonesia
In office
26 October 1999 – 23 July 2001
President Abdurrahman Wahid
Preceded by Ali Alatas
Succeeded by Hassan Wirajuda
Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare
In office
21 October 2004 – 6 December 2005
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Preceded by Jusuf Kalla
Succeeded by Aburizal Bakrie
Personal details
Born (1946-08-19) 19 August 1946 (age 68)
Rappang, South Sulawesi
Political party Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama (PKNU)
Spouse(s) Ashraf Shahab
Children Rizvi, Samira, Samy
Religion Islam
Alwi Shihab (left) receives a commemorative photo from Rear Admiral Doug Crowder aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, February 2005

Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab (Arabic: علوي عبد الرحمن شهاب‎; Alawī ʿAbd ar-Raḥman Šihāb) is one of the leading authorities and scholars on the interaction of Christian and Muslim communities. Currently he is the Indonesian President's special envoy to the Middle East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. He was the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare in 2004-2005 and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001.

Early life[edit]

Alwi was born in Rappang, South Sulawesi in Indonesia on 19 August 1946. He inherited a passion in academic achievements from his father, Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Shihab, who was a dean at IAIN Alauddin in Makassar, South Sulawesi. He is a younger sibling of Prof. Dr. Quraish Shihab and Prof. Dr. Umar Shihab of MUI (The Indonesian Council of Ulama).


Alwi's father sent Alwi and his brother Quraish to Cairo to continue their high school abroad. After completing his high school in Cairo, Alwi continued and completed his bachelor degree from Al-Azhar University and acquired L.C. degree in 1968. He then continued his education in Indonesia and completed his master at Alaudin State Institute of Islamic Studies (Institut Agama Islam Negeri Alaudin), Ujung Pandang in 1986. His first doctoral degree was acquired in 1990 from University of Ain Shams, Cairo with research dissertation in the area of tasawwuf and Islamic philosophy. He went to US to continue his education at Temple University, USA and completed his M.A. in 1992. Being not enough with a single doctoral degree, he then completed his second Ph.D from the same university in 1995. While at Temple, Alwi become assistant professor for the Department of Religion.

Alwi also did some post-doctorate at Harvard University: The Center For the Study of Word Religions, USA during 1995-1996 period.[1] Later, he joined Hartford Seminary in Hartford, as professor of religion.[2] In 1998 he served as fellow and visiting professor at Harvard University's Divinity School - Center for the Study of World Religions.

In 90's he wrote a book about Islam-Christianity interaction: Islam Inklusif[3] He has recently completed two works for publication: a manuscript entitled American Students’ Perceptions of Islam (forthcoming), and a translated (from Arabic to English) version of a previous publication entitled Islamic Mysticism and Its Impact on Indonesian Society (forthcoming).

Alwi Shihab with Colin Powell, Jan 5 2005

In 2002 he become adjunct professor for graduate programs at UI and currently is a member of Universitas Indonesia (UI) Board of Trustee.


In politics, His political career started when he was elected as member of Indonesian parliament and then minister of foreign affairs in The Wahid administration. Alwi was The chairman of PKB (The National Awakening Party). He served as Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare and a minister in Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's cabinet.

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alwi Shihab (left) is escorted through an honor cordon and into the Pentagon by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz on March 12, 2001

Alwi, unlike his brothers who focus their career in education and Islamic studies only, has also strong business entrepreneurship. Since after completing his education in Cairo, Alwi started some businesses. In 1975 to 1979 he was CEO of Glass Priangan Factory in Cianjur, Indonesia. During 1979 -1982 he was the President of Director for Alfa Contracting Company in Jeddah. In 1982 to 1986 he was the President of Director of PT. Prima Advera company in Jakarta. In 1982 he founded Yayasan Darul Qur'an, also in Jakarta. During 1986 -1990 he became a member of board of directors at Eagle Tripelti in Jakarta and since 1986, he has been a member of the board of Dhafco Manunggal Sejati, Jakarta.

On October 26, 2004 He was honorarily discharged from PKB due to the party's internal political conflict and clash with some other leaders. In 2007 he founded his own party, Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama (PKNU) or "Party of National Scholar Awakening" in which he still serves as the chairman until now.

Personal life[edit]

Alwi Shihab is of Hadhrami Arab descent and claims a lineage as a Sayyid, or a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (via Zayn al-Abidin, great-grandson of Muhammad).[4][5]

Alwi Shihab is married to Ashraf Shahab and has two sons: Muhammad Rizvi and Samy, and one daughter: Samira Shihab. One of his children, Samy, lives in The United States.

He has continuously tried to present Islam as an inclusive, moderate religion, basing this on his reading of the Qur'an.[6]


  1. ^ Shihab, Alwi (2011). Examining Islam in the West: Addressing Accusations and Correcting Misconceptions. translated by Dr. Ralph B. Brown with Rumtini. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama. p. 166. ISBN 9789792267716. 
  2. ^ Contributing biographies
  3. ^ Islam Inklusif: Menuju Sikap Terbuka dalam Beragama (Inclusive Islam: Interreligious relations between Islam and Christianity)
  4. ^ The Straits Times, June 1, 2007, Insight–Boosting links, 'software' to rekindle Arab ties, by Jeremy Au Yong
  5. ^ Indonesia's Radical Arabs Raise Suspicions of Moderate Countrymen
  6. ^ "The Good, The Bad And The Violent". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ali Alatas
Foreign minister of Indonesia
26 October 1999 - 23 July 2001
Succeeded by
Hassan Wirajuda
Preceded by
Jusuf Kalla
Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare of Indonesia
21 October 2004 - 6 December 2005
Succeeded by
Aburizal Bakrie

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alwi_Shihab — Please support Wikipedia.
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16272 news items

Republika Online

Republika Online
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:29:14 -0700

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Mantan Menteri Luar Negeri era Presiden Abdurrahman Wahid, Alwi Shihab turut memberikan komentar terkait keikutsertaan Arab Saudi dalam mencampuri urusan perang saudara yang terjadi di negara Yaman. Arab Saudi ...

ANTARA (Siaran Pers) (Pendaftaran)

ANTARA (Siaran Pers) (Pendaftaran)
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 10:37:30 -0700

"Sebenarnya soal keberatan berita itu, saya bilang mungkin Istana (Presiden Mesir) yang keberatan karena tidak biasanya dalam pertemuan ada santapan pagi, kecuali kepala negara setara dengan presiden," kata Alwi Shihab ketika dikonfirmasi atas ...

Republika Online

Republika Online
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:00:04 -0700

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KAIRO-- Presiden Joko Widodo mengutus mantan Menteri Luar Negeri Alwi Shihab untuk menemui Presiden Mesir Abdel Fatah Al Sisi guna menghadiri HUT Konferensi Asia-Afrika (KAA) di ke-60 Bandung pada bulan depan.
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 20:33:45 -0700

Hal itu ditegaskan oleh Presiden Iran Hassan Rouhani saat bertemu dengan utusan khusus Presiden untuk Timur Tengah Alwi Shihab pada Minggu (15/3) di Tehran. Dalam pertemuan itu, Rouhani menyebut bahwa Tehran dan Jakarta sudah semestinya ...


Egypt SIS (press release)
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 06:18:45 -0700

Indonesian president's special envoy to the Middle East Alwi Shihab said on Saturday that he handed over an invitation to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi from his Indonesian counterpart to attend the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference (1955) and ...

Press TV

Press TV
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 19:26:15 -0700

At a Sunday meeting with the Indonesian president's special envoy to the Middle East, Alwi Shihab, Rouhani said that Tehran and Jakarta should play their role in countering the “grim phenomena of terrorism and violence” through promoting the “real and ...

Ammon News

Ammon News
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:18:45 -0700

AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah II received on Wednesday the Indonesian president's special envoy to the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Alwi Shihab. Shihab handed His Majesty the King an invitation from Indonesian ...

Mehr News

Mehr News
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 05:33:45 -0700

Alwi Shihab, for his part, offered the official invitation to President Rouhani and described friendly cooperation sentiment and strengthening of member states in applying experiences in challenge confrontations as main goals of the conference. Shihab ...

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