Ferial Masry surprised everyone when she was selected as the Democratic candidate for California’s 37th Assembly District in March 2004. In a spectacular write in campaign, which is almost unprecedented in California, she garnered local, national and international attention for her outstanding achievement and for her unique background. Articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, on the AP Wire Service as well as an interview on CNN championed her ground breaking campaign. Ferial’s life story, as well as her commitment to the community she hopes to represent in the California Assembly, is the stuff of legends.
Ferial Masry’s unique background makes her supremely qualified to represent the people of the 37th Assembly District, who come from many nations and all walks of life. Ferial was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When she was 10, her mother moved her and her sisters to Egypt so that they could all attend school, which girls could not do in Saudi Arabia. She later graduated from Cairo University with a B.A. in Journalism. After living both in England and Nigeria,
she moved with her husband Waleed to Southern California in 1979.
Waleed and Ferial Masry opened a small business upon arriving in California. She then returned to school for a teaching credential and a Masters Degree in School Administration from California Lutheran University. Today she teaches government and history at Cleveland High School in Los Angeles. She stresses to her students, who come from many ethnic backgrounds, that they must learn their history and be proud of who they are. She also teaches them the principles of democracy and the brilliance of the American Constitution that provides the blueprint for this great nation. Education has been Ferial’s life work and she intends to make sure, when elected, that our children and grandchildren have the excellent, well-funded educational opportunities that this mighty democracy promises.
Ferial’s three children have all attended public school in California and each is a fine, contributing member of their community. Her oldest son, Omar, recently completed his tour of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Unit. He spent his time in Iraq rebuilding schools and hospitals and Ferial is especially proud of her son and this work.
Ferial has worked tirelessly to bridge cultural divides and to promote peace and prosperity in our communities. To this end, she has served as the cultural consultant for the Los Angeles Board of Education and as the creator and coordinator of the Arab Children’s Cultural Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles. She was also nominated by KCET for “Woman Who Made a Difference in Southern California.”
Ferial wants to keep on making a difference and that is why she is running for office. Her rich international background, her excellent knowledge of American government and history and her service on such boards as the Coalition of Women from Asia and the Middle East, the Education Committee for the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and the Conejo Democratic Club make her well qualified to represent the 37th District. Having spent most of her life working to bring people together and build coalitions, Ferial now wants to use her unique background and perspective to seek consensus in our legislature and build a better future for all!