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Zainab Salbi's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Zainab Salbi recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Zainab Salbi's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Over the centuries and throughout the world, women have struggled for equality and basic rights. Their challenge in the Middle East has been intensified by the rise of a political Islam that too often condemns women’s empowerment as Western cultural imperialism or, worse, anti-Islamic. In Paradise Beneath Her Feet, Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men are fighting back with progressive interpretations of Islam to support women’s rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism.

In this timely book, Coleman journeys through the strategic crescent of the greater...
Recommended by Zainab Salbi, and 1 others.

Zainab SalbiThis is a brilliant book. There are not many books out there that deal with Muslim women in a respectful way. This book looks at them with objectivity, respect, dignity and integrity. I am very impressed and touched by Isobel Coleman’s writing. It is a page-turner. I am coming at this from a Muslim woman’s perspective and from a woman from the Middle East. It is so touching and deeply endearing... (Source)

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Lisa Shannon had a good life — a successful business, a fiancé, a home, and security. Then one day in 2005, an episode of Oprah changed her life. The show focused on women in Congo, a place known as the worse place on earth to be a woman. She was suddenly awakened to the atrocities there — millions dead, women being raped, children dying in shocking numbers. It was then that Lisa realized she had to do something — and she did. A Thousand Sisters is Lisa Shannon’s inspiring memoir. She shares her story of how she raised money to sponsor Congolese women beginning with one solo 30-mile run and... more
Recommended by Zainab Salbi, and 1 others.

Zainab SalbiLisa is an ordinary American who tells the inspiring story of her life-changing decision to help the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Even though she wasn’t a product of rape or war, she decided to do something about the women in the Congo. She led a good middle-class lifestyle with a good job and a good man but she woke up one day and realised that she needed to do something with... (Source)

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In this sweeping philosophical work, Amartya Sen proposes that the murderous violence that has riven our society is driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred. Challenging the reductionist division of people by race, religion, and class, Sen presents an inspiring vision of a world that can be made to move toward peace as firmly as it has spiraled in recent years toward brutality and war. less
Recommended by Zainab Salbi, Philippe Legrain, and 2 others.

Zainab SalbiI grew up in Iraq as a Muslim woman amidst war. Right now, we are living in a world in which that part of the world is in turmoil and almost seems to be operating in the dark ages. Obviously, Sen is known for his economic work. I think this is a brilliant piece of work where he moves away from that. (Source)

Philippe LegrainThis book is an antidote to the nationalist backlash and the temptation, which we thought we had buried, to put people into nationalist boxes and say that nations are homogeneous and national identity is what uniquely defines us and sets us apart from others. Amartya Sen argues that that is an easy and extremely dangerous trap to fall into. Actually, we all have multiple overlapping identities —... (Source)

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The Essential Rumi

This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems.

Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.

The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.

Adam Robinson[The author]’s gotten me in touch with the mystical, and the mysterious, and the magical in life. (Source)

Adam Robinson[The author]’s gotten me in touch with the mystical, and the mysterious, and the magical in life. (Source)

Zainab SalbiIn the evolution of my journey I learned that the way that we can transform women’s lives and our lives generally is not necessarily only through the warrior’s ways. I do not deny the warrior’s ways. I have ridden the horse and carried the armour! But as I evolve in my own growth I have learnt that the way we can truly achieve transformation and change is through our own inner peace. It is... (Source)

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From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our...

Zainab SalbiHalf the Sky was one of the tipping points in the discussion of how we re-energise the women’s movement and expand it to a mainstream audience that is more inclusive of women and men; individuals who are deeply concerned about global issues but who have not necessarily been aware about women’s issues before. This book elevated the topic of women’s rights and made it acceptable for every woman and... (Source)

Mia FarrowWomen in so much of the world are doing so much of the labour without having any of the rights or reaping their share of the profits. (Source)

Pierre FerrariOne of the most powerful books I've ever read on #GenderEquality is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by @NickKristof & @WuDunn: Let's do more to support women in our daily lives! #WomenWednesday #SDGs (Source)

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