Manal Omar, author of 'Barefoot in Baghdad' speaks

Director, Iraq Programs at the United States Institute for Peace

International Women's Day logo
Wednesday 9 March 2011

Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, UniSA City West campus, Hawke Building level 3, 50-55 North Terrace

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Named in 2007 by Islamic Magazine as one of the ten young visionaries shaping Islam in America, Manal Omar began her career as a journalist in the Middle East in 1996. Since then she has worked for multilateral aid organisations, focusing on women's rights within an Islamic framework, and the role of women in post conflict, peace mediation and nation building. Manal's work has taken her to diverse countries including Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Sudan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Kenya.

Between 10,000 - 20,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since 2003. The majority of those have been women. Manal Omar will be speaking about the role of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, specifically focusing on her recent experience in Iraq.

Her memoir, Barefoot in Baghdad, chronicles her work with women in Iraq.

Event jointly presented by UN Women, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA and the Don Dunstan Foundation.

Proceeds will go towards supporting UN Women projects that promote women in governance and leadership

Contact: UN Women, National Committee Australia, Adelaide Chapter adelaide@unifem.org.au

UN Photo/Christopher Herwig UN Photo/Marco Domino UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

 

About Manal Omar

Manal OmarManal Omar currently serves as the Director of Iraq Programs at the United States Institute for Peace. She has extensive experience working for multilateral institutions and international NGOs in the Middle East. Her areas of focus include women's rights within an Islamic framework and the role of women in post conflict, peace mediation and nation building. She began her career as a journalist in the Middle East in 1996. UNESCO recruited her to work on one of her first lead assignments in Iraq in 1997-1998. After this, Omar worked for Women for Women International as regional coordinator for Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan. She was responsible for setting up operations in Iraq, and lived in Baghdad from 2003 to 2005. In addition to this, she has three years of experience working with the World Bank's development economics group. Manal has carried out training programs in Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Sudan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kenya, and many other countries.

Omar's activities have been profiled in the mainstream media such as the Washington Times, BBC, and NPR. Her own pieces have appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, Azizah Magazine, and Islamica Magazine, and she has authored a memoir, Barefoot in Baghdad, chronicling her work with women in Iraq. Omar is on the board of directors of Women Without Borders, and is an active member of the American Muslim community. In 2007, Islamic Magazine named her one of the ten young visionaries shaping Islam in America. She is the founder of muslims-vote.org, an online community working towards providing information on presidential candidates, voter registration, and public policy issues to empower American Muslim to exercise the right to vote. She holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a BA in International Relations from George Mason University.

 


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Areas of study and research

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