Faris Al-Rawi : A Statesman of Trinidad and Tobago

Faris Al-Rawi: A Trinidadian Politician's Remarkable Journey

Faris Al-Rawi : Trinidad and Tobago, a vibrant nation in the Caribbean, has been home to many remarkable individuals who have left an indelible mark on its political landscape. One such individual is Faris Al-Rawi, a prominent Trinidadian politician, and legal expert who served as the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago from 2015 to 2022. In this article, we delve into the life, career, and inspirational journey of Faris Al-Rawi.

Early Life and Diverse Heritage of Faris Al-Rawi

Faris Al-Rawi was born in the charming city of San Fernando, where his unique heritage began to shape his worldview from an early age. He is the son of Husam Al-Rawi, an Iraqi Arab Muslim, and Diane Seukeran, a Presbyterian Indo-Trinidadian. Diane Seukeran herself had previously represented the San Fernando West constituency in Parliament, adding a rich political dimension to the family.

His maternal lineage is equally diverse and fascinating. His maternal grandfather, Lionel Frank Seukeran, served as a member of the Democratic Labour Party in Parliament, a party that once opposed the People’s National Movement and later evolved into the United National Congress.

Furthermore, his maternal great-grandfather was Pundit Seukeran Sharma, a Hindu priest, reflecting the multicultural tapestry of Trinidad and Tobago.

Faris Al-Rawi received his early education at Presentation College in San Fernando, followed by academic pursuits at the University of the West Indies. His commitment to education led him to King’s College London, where he earned a master’s degree in Law, demonstrating his dedication to excellence in legal studies.

Religious Harmony and Personal Beliefs

Al-Rawi’s religious background is a testament to the diverse cultural and religious fabric of Trinidad and Tobago. Despite his Iraqi Muslim heritage, he is known for his relaxed religious views and mixed religious background. He often describes himself as “the son of an Iraqi Muslim man and a Trinidadian Presbyterian woman with a Hindu maternal grandfather.”

In an era where religious differences often divide communities, Al-Rawi’s inclusive perspective is a shining example of harmony. He is married to Mona Nahous, a Catholic of Arab descent, and has embraced various religious practices, including fasting during Divali, Ramadan, and Lent.

He is known to refer to himself as a “child of God” when asked about his religion, a testament to his spiritual inclusivity. Additionally, he has maintained dietary restrictions, abstaining from pork and alcohol.

Political Ascent

Faris Al-Rawi’s journey into politics commenced in 1995 when he assumed the role of a legal advisor to the Tunapuna – Piarco Regional Corporation. Over the years, his commitment to public service led to his appointment as an Alderman in the Port of Spain City Corporation from 2003 to 2006. In 2010, he took on the role of an Opposition Senator, marking a significant milestone in his political career.

His most noteworthy political achievement came in the 2015 General Election when he contested and won the San Fernando West constituency, defeating Raziah Ahmed of the United National Congress. This victory paved the way for his appointment as Attorney-General under the leadership of Prime Minister Keith Rowley, a position he held with distinction from 2015 to 2022.

Controversy and Resilience

In the world of politics, controversies are almost inevitable. In October 2016, Faris Al-Rawi faced a challenging situation when his children were photographed in possession of high-powered military-grade assault rifles.

Responding to the public concern, he explained that his children were receiving training from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force in response to undisclosed death threats. This explanation was later corroborated by the Defence Force, highlighting the complexity of his role and responsibilities.

A Diverse Legal Background

Before serving as the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Faris Al-Rawi was deeply involved in legal practice, specializing in corporate commercial law, civil litigation, industrial relations, intellectual property, mortgaging, conveyancing law, and securities.

His qualifications include a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of the West Indies, a Masters of Law in Intellectual Property, Information Technology, and Alternative Dispute Resolution from King’s College London, and a Certificate of Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School.

A Passion for Philanthropy

Beyond politics and law, Faris Al-Rawi is a passionate philanthropist. He actively supports various charities and has a particular affinity for the Scout movement. Moreover, he is a member and past instructor of the Trinidad and Tobago Karate Association, further demonstrating his commitment to community and youth development.

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