Carmela Shamira made history by being the first female Israeli ambassador appointed to a Muslim country.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has appointed Carmela Shamir to be ambassador to Uzbekistan. She will be State of Israels first woman to hold a chief diplomatic position in a Muslim country. Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan and is geographically close to Iran, is one of the ten Muslim countries in the world that has diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel’s diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan began since the country broke off from the Soviet Union in 1992. The two countries have engaged in agricultural, tourism, medical, and high tech collaboration.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has approved Shamir to be the Israeli Ambassador and soon will be reviewing her credentials. She came highly recommended from the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Prior to serving as Ambassador, Shamir was the director of the Center for Policy Research and the deputy director of the North America division at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also served as the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Belgium.


Shamir is not the only Israeli woman to hold a prominent diplomatic position. “Currently there are 12 women who serve as heads of Israeli missions abroad, and additional female envoys are due to begin their service abroad soon,” Foreign Ministry official Yossi Regev reported. The recently appointed Deputy Israeli Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Hagit Mualem, is also a woman. Israel has been a pioneer when it comes to women’s rights since its inception. Women proudly serve in the Israel Defense Forces, the Knesset, and in the highest offices in the nation as illustrated by former Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni and former Prime Minister Golda Meir.

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel