Zainab Salbi


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At the age of just 23, Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian organisation dedicated to helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives.

Under her leadership as CEO from 1993 to 2011, the organisation grew from helping 30 women in its earliest days to supporting 478,000 marginalised women in eight conflict areas. Women for Women International has also distributed more than $120 million in direct aid and micro-credit loans that has impacted the lives of more than 1.7 million family members.

Zainab has hosted several TV series including #MeToo, Now What? The Zainab Salbi Project, The Nidaa Show, which she launched with the historic first interview with Oprah Winfrey in the Arab World, and her latest, Through Her Eyes, on Yahoo! News. She is the author of several books including her best-selling memoir Between Two Worlds and her most recent work, Freedom is an Inside Job.

Zainab has been consistently identified as one of the leading women impacting the world. People Magazine named her one of its 25 Women Changing The World in 2016, Foreign Policy Magazine named her one of the 100 Leading Global Thinkers, Fast Company identified her as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business, and The Guardian has included her in its Top 100 Women Activists and Campaigners. In 2017, Arabian Business named Zainab its #1 Most Influential Arab Woman in the World, and has been joined by Gulf Business to consistently name her one of the World’s Most Influential Arabs.

Most recently, she was identified as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2019 by Watkins magazine.
Zainab is a jury member for The Hilton Humanitarian Prize - the world’s largest annual humanitarian award presented to a non-profit organisation - and she is on the Board of Directors of Synergos and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).

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