Today I’m excited to share with you my 100th episode of Extraordinary Women Radio! And I’m extremely honored to feature Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International for this milestone episode!
At the age of 23, Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars by offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.
Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO (1993-2011), the organization grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to more than 500,000 women in 8 conflict areas. It also distributed more than $100 million in direct aid and micro credit loans that impacted more than 1.7 million family members.
Today Zainab shares her story of how she founded Women for Women International. She also shares her deeply personal story of growing up in the shadows of Saddam Hussein, a secret she kept hidden for many years. We talk about the power of facing our fears, and Zainab shares the catalyst moment when she brought her own truth forward in telling this story.
There is so much wisdom in this interview, as Zainab shares her firsthand knowledge around the vital role of women in war, and how women are naturally called to make a difference in this world.
This is a powerful episode my friends. You won’t want to miss it.
Zainab is also the host and creator of several TV shows including #MeToo, Now What? on PBS (2018), The Zainab Salbi Project, original series on Huffington Post (2016), The Nidaa Show with TLC Arabic where she started with the historic first interview of Oprah Winfrey in the Arab world, and a new original series with Yahoo News! Through Her Eyes with Zainab Salbi.
Zainab is the author of several books including the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, If You Knew Me You Would Care, and her latest Freedom is an Inside Job.
Zainab has been featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday several times and her global awards list is lengthy:
- One of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People, Watkins (2019)
- One of the 100 Most Powerful Arabs, Gulf Business (2019)
- One of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers, Foreign Policy Magazine (2016)
- One of 25 Women Changing The World, People Magazine (2016)
- One of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for being a voice of change in the Middle East, Fast Company (2016)
- One of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women, Arabian Business (2016)
- One of the Most Influential Women on Social Media, Wear Your Voice (2015)
- One of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women, Arabian Business (2015)
- Honorary doctoral degree from York University (2014)
- One of the Most Influential Women on Twitter, Fortune Magazine (2014)
- Austin College Posey Leadership Award (2011)
- David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2010)
- World Economic Forum‘s Young Global Leader (2007)
- Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, on behalf of Women for Women International (2005)
- Forbes Magazine Trailblazer Award (2005)
- Harper’s Bazaar 21st Century Heroines nominee (2003)
- Harper’s Bazaar 21st Century Heroine (nominated by President Bill Clinton)
- Time magazine Innovator of the Month for her pioneering work as philanthropist
- Honored by President Clinton at a White House ceremony for her humanitarian work (1995)