Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Forced Marriage in America

Forced Marriage in America

More From Zainab

In this video

A horrible arranged marriage brought Salbi to America. It took her years to forgive her mother and understand her desperate reasons.

Zainab's Biography

Cause of Choice: Women for Women International
Early Career Ambitions: Pilot or flight attendant (until her father told her the latter job would involve cleaning)
Feminist Foremothers: At a very young age, her mother had her reading the work of leading Arab feminist Nawal El Saadawi.
A Young Woman for Women: She started Women for Women International when she was only 23.

Women for Women International is a grassroots humanitarian and development organization helping women brutalized by rape and war. Iraqi emigré, Zainab Salbi and her husband Amjad Atallah gave up their 1993 honeymoon to found the organization and aid survivors of the Yugoslav Wars. Salbi then continued to guide it for more than 17 years as its chief executive officer. Women for Women offers rights awareness training, education, and vocational skills in a program that literally saves lives. It has distributed more than $103 million in direct aid and microcredit loans and has helped 316,000 women access social and economic opportunities. The ripple effect is profound: those 316,000 women have carried and nurtured more than 1.7 million family members which in turn secures the political and social health of their wider communities. Salbi’s drive and conviction is deeply personal. As a teen, she escaped the terror of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle for the United States, a flight chronicled in her 2005 memoir Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny—Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam.

Related Videos

Alfre Woodard
Alfre Woodard
Actor

Alfre Woodard is a prolific actor; she has acted in over 25 TV series and over 70 films during her long career. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and didn’t consider becoming a...

Arlene Dickinson
Arlene Dickinson
CEO Venture Communications, Entrepreneur

As CEO of Venture Communications, Arlene Dickinson has made a name for herself as one of Canada’s most renowned marketing communications entrepreneurs. She grew up in poverty...

Diem Brown
Diem Brown
Cancer Fighter and Entrepreneur

Diem Brown’s battle with ovarian cancer was caught on camera while she was a cast member on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat. Through this experience, ...

Gabrielle Hamilton
Gabrielle Hamilton
Chef & Author

Gabrielle Hamilton is "not convinced that it is important to make a living at the thing that you aspire to," a perfect outlook for this chef & author. Initially aspir...