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BWLI Students and Committee

Founder of Women for Women International to Speak at MCLA's Public Policy Lecture on Tuesday, March 6

02/29/2012

NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, will deliver this spring's public policy lecture, "The Other Side of War," on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium at the MCLA Church Street Center.

An activist and social entrepreneur, Salbi organized women to help female survivors of war rebuild their lives through her organization, Women for Woman International. She and her organization have been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" seven times. A survivor of war, Salbi is dedicated to rebuilding communities after war, one woman at a time.

Made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust, the event is free and open to the public.

"Zainab Salbi has dedicated her life to helping other women overcome the many hardships brought on by war. A true innovator, she is a great example of what one person can accomplish to improve the lives of others," said John DeRosa, administrator of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. "I encourage the public to join us as Ms. Salbi presents an insightful look at the aftermath of war and the suffering it brings to communities and to women."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Salbi is "a recognized force for women's rights and self-sufficiency." Time magazine calls Women for Women International "a lifeline for women in war-torn countries," and named Salbi "innovator of the month" for her pioneering work as a philanthropist.

Salbi survived the bombs and lies of living in the shadow of Saddam Hussein. She writes about those years in her 2005 memoir, "Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam."

After her escape from Iraq, Salbi began to help other women whose lives had been torn apart by war. Her most recent book, "The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope" (2006) chronicles the stories of women who overcome the horrors of war and rebuild their families and countries.

"Women who survive war are strong, resilient and courageous - they just need some support dealing with the aftermath of conflict," Salbi said. "So, we give them the tools they need to help themselves and their families, while providing them with the education to be leaders and advocates in their communities."

According to the Washington Post, "Salbi's vision is that by strengthening women, her organization can help rebuild communities and nations."

Salbi has dedicated her life to the belief that stronger women build stronger nations. Since she founded Women for Women International in 1993, tens of thousands of women have joined the movement to help women survivors of war and civil strife to rebuild their lives as they contribute to the political and economic health of their societies.

In 2007, Salbi was selected as a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2006, Women for Women International received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world's largest humanitarian award. Forbes gave her its 2005 "Trailblazer Award." And, in 1995, President Clinton honored Salbi at a White House ceremony for her humanitarian work.

In 2006, Salbi spoke to global business leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Her many awards also include the Auburn Theological Seminary's highest honor, a "Lives of Commitment Award," in 2006. And, she was named one of the 2006 "Washingtonians of the Year" by Washingtonian magazine.

Salbi is interviewed regularly in the national and international media, including the BBC, NPR, ABC News, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Fox News, PBS, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and Newsweek, among others.

She earned a master's degree in development studies from the London School of Economics and

Political Science, in 2001. She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and women's studies from George Mason University, in 1996.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA/notablespeakers/publicpolicylecture or call (413) 662-5185.