Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi

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Zainab Salbi

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Zainab Salbi ( born 1970) is an Iraqi American writer, activist and social entrepreneur who is co-founder and president of Washington-based Women for Women International.

Early years

Salbi was born in 1970 in Baghdad, Iraq. Her father worked as personal pilot of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Experiencing immediate psychological abuse to her family from Hussein, Salbi chose to dedicate her adult life to the women around the world.

She moved to the United States with her family at the age of 19. Salbi's experience with the Iran–Iraq War sensitized her to the plight of women in war worldwide. She has written and spoken extensively on the use of rape and other forms of violence against women during war. Her work has been featured in major media outlets including seven times on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Washington Post. In 1995, President Bill Clinton honored Salbi at the White House for her humanitarian work in Bosnia.

Salbi graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Women's Studies and from London School of Economics with Master's degree in Development Studies.

Humanitarian work

In the early 1990s, newlyweds Zainab Salbi and Amjad Atallah, a Palestinian-American, were deeply moved by the plight of the women of former Yugoslavia, many of whom were forced into the now infamous rape and concentration camps. They...
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