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

A Bikini or A Headscarf

A Bikini or A Headscarf

More From Zainab

In this video

Salbi on what "feminism" means to her and why we can embrace it no matter what our cultural background.

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

Nancy Wexler
Nancy Wexler
Neuropsychologist & President, Hereditary Disease Foundation

Nancy Wexler, PhD is a neuropsychologist who's devoted her life's work to finding a cure for the fatal hereditary disorder Huntington's Disease. She is best known for h...

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian

Ellen DeGeneres is a daytime TV juggernaut and entertainment pioneer. Her hit syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is a haven for discussion, deadpan comedy, and a coll...

Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton
Professional Surfer

Born into a family of surfers in Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton has been surfing almost as long as she has been walking. Entering her first competition around age four, and sponso...

Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
First Female Secretary of State

The Washington Post recently asked Madeleine Albright about her place in history. “I have to laugh,” said America’s first female Secretary of State. She remembere...