Harvard University Law Magazine chose an American of Egyptian descent to be the first Muslim to chair the editor of the magazine that was previously managed by former US President Barack Obama during his studies.
Harvard Law Magazine, founded 134 years ago, is considered one of the oldest legal journals in the United States.
University law student Hassan al-Shahawi said he hoped his election would represent “the legal academy’s growing recognition of the importance of diversity, and possibly its growing respect for other legal traditions.”
Throughout its history, the magazine has worked with people who have become important in political and legal life in the United States, such as former US President Barack Obama, who was chosen as the magazine’s first black president in 1990.
Three current members of the US Supreme Court have served on the magazine, as well as two judges who died, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
“Coming from a society that is routinely demonized in American public discourse, I hope this represents some progress, even if it is small and symbolic,” Al-Shahawi said in a letter to Reuters.
Usually, the best students of American law schools are selected to work in their legal journals, and they are often appointed to legal positions in the profession, later.
In 1977, the magazine saw the election of its first woman president, Susan Strich. The first black woman to serve in this position was selected in 2017.
People of different classes and ethnicities worked in the magazine, and they varied between Latino and openly gay people.
Al- Shahawi earned a BA in History and Near Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 2016, and became a researcher on his path towards obtaining a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies.
Al-Shehawi was active in several files, including refugee issues and criminal justice reform.
While his future plans remain unclear, he has indicated the possibility of becoming a lawyer or pursuing an academic career.