Thursday, January 29, 2004

Women For Women International

Many readers may have heard of Women For Women International. But, do you know the founder of this organization is an Iraqi woman?

Zainab Salbi was born in Iraq. In 1990, Zainab came to the United States for a visit. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait prevented her return to Baghdad. She stayed in the United States, studied and got married.

At age 23, she started this project with only $2,000. She worked in her in-laws basement. Everyone thought she was crazy to do this while she was a newlywed. However the dream of her life was to be able help women around the world who are suffering from war, genocide and rape.

When she heard the news of refugee and rape camps in Croatia, she couldn't wait for someone else to help. She decided to help these women. With the help of a small church in Alexandria, Va., she and her husband left to Croatia and spent a few months helping women survivors and gathering enough information to start Women for Women International.

Now, the organization has offices in more than one country. A new office opened in Baghdad after fall of the old regime. The network has worked with more than 35,000 women around the world. She has been honored by former President Bill Clinton at the White House, featured on an MSNBC documentary and been a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" twice.

She's one of my favorite Iraqi women. She had a dream and made it come true. Please, help her organization if you can. She's doing a great job for many women around the world.

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