The Other Side of War
Ms. Salbi passionately engages audiences with her personal experience as a survivor of war and her dedication to rebuilding communities after war, one woman at a time.
Zainab Salbi is a humanitarian, author, and media commentator that has dedicated herself to women’s rights and freedom.
At the age of 23, she founded Women for Women International, a grassroots humanitarian and development organization dedicated to serving women survivors of wars to rebuild their lives. Under her leadership as the organization’s CEO (1993-2011), the organization grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to more than 400,000 women in 8 conflict areas leading to a distribution of more than $100 million dollars in aid and loans, and has impacted more than 1.7 million family members.
Salbi is also the author of the national bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund). Salbi has also authored The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope and If You Knew Me, You Would Care. Her books received support from iconic women writers such as Alice Walker and from several celebrities including but not limited to Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, and Annie Lennox.
Salbi currently serves as Editor-at-Large at Women in the World Media, which is a news platform in collaboration with the New York Times and is hosted on the NYT website. It consists of vivid journalistic narratives, stirring videos, and provocative discussions and is a premier showcase for women of impact—and for the men who champion them.
In 2010, President Clinton nominated Salbi as one of the 21st century heroes as featured by Harper’s Bazaar. Newsweek and The Guardian identified her in the Top 100 list of Most Influential Women (2011). The Economist Intelligent Unite named Salbi as one of most inspirational women (2011) and she was identified by Fast Company in the 100 most influential women list (2012), and by PBS Makers series as one of the women who make America. Most recently, Salbi was identified by Fortune Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women on Twitter (2014) and by Wear Your Voice as one of the Most Influential Women on Social Media (2015).
Salbi has received extensive coverage in US, UK and global media from CNN to The New York Times, Financial Times, The Independent, and, among many others, most notably appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show 10 times. Salbi was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007 and Clinton Global Initiative Lead by President Clinton in 2010.
Salbi is known for bringing international women’s issues to mainstream attention in the US, making philanthropy accessible to women at the grassroots level, and pioneering microcredit programs to post conflict areas. Salbi’s mission had always been to build programs that combine access to knowledge with access to resources to lead to lasting change in women’s lives.