Voices Lectures welcomes Salbi
Zainab Salbi promises to address the theme of "How to Heal in a Time of Divide" as part of her talk at the next Voices Lectures series event, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3.
And she has a lot of experience in dealing with division, as an Iraqi-American humanitarian, author, TV host and activist. She was born and raised in Iraq, and her family had a close association with the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein — her father was his personal pilot. Psychological abuse and more led her family to send Salbi to the United States for an arranged marriage at age 19, and the marriage turned into a nightmare of abuse. She managed to escape it and move on with her life.
She established the Women for Women International organization, and hosted a television show that aired in more than 20 Arab countries, "The Nidaa Show," which focused on women. She has written two books: "Between Two Worlds" and "Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World."
Women for Women International has helped nearly 500,000 marginalized women in eight conflict areas around the world, including raising millions of dollars for direct aid and loans. One significant action took place during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as she dedicated her career to women survivors, and her work took place from Afghanistan to the Congo before she resigned as CEO of the organization in 2011.
She has written extensively about rape and abuse of women during conflict. She has done specials for Huffington Post, PBS and Yahoo News.
"Healing" and "divide" are something learned "not from theoretical studies, but from my own experience dealing with prejudice, insults and discrimination," Salbi said.
She added: "It is from the ashes of not only my pain but the pain of so many women I worked with from around the world that I have learned there is another way out, a productive way out, one that shows the triumph of hope over fear, and love over anger."
The keys for oppressed women are education and access to resources, she has said. She holds degrees from George Mason University and London School of Economics.
People magazine named her as one of "25 Women Changing the World."
She'll appear via video conference call on the Voices Lectures series talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3.
Series tickets are $179 for general admission and $315 or patron memberships; individual tickets also are available. Zoom links and passwords are emailed with each other, and a video of the program will be available for 30 days.
"If you are one who is longing to learn how to bridge, heal and unite in a time that is ruptured by many divides, this is the place for you," she said, referring to her Voices Lectures appearance. "I will share with you the meaning of safe space, how can we engage in real conversations without fear, how to show up with integrity and how to pave the path for reconciliation within our families, our communities, our colleagues and our country."
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