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

Women Have to Roar

Women Have to Roar

More From Zainab

In this video

Speaking out about injustice is not for activists alone; it is the job of every woman.

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

Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith
Poet

Tracy K. Smith is a poet, educator and author of three collections of poetry. Her most recent book of poems, Life on Mars, won her critical acclaim and a full-page review in the Ne...

Linda Alvarado
Linda Alvarado
CEO, Alvarado Construction, Inc.

Armed with her mother’s philosophy of empieza pequeño, pero piensa muy grande (“start small, but think big”), Linda Alvarado began her career as a laborer ...

Val Demings
Val Demings
First Female Chief of Police, Orlando, FL

Val Demings’ parents—her mother a maid and her father a janitor—never graduated from high school, but they instilled in their daughter the message that Demings co...

Alice Waters
Alice Waters
Food Pioneer

Alice Waters is a chef, author, activist and pioneer at the forefront of the locally grown, organic food movement. Hailed as “the mother of American cooking,” she opene...