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Travel Diaries Blog

We all know that Marie Claire is more than a pretty face, and our Travel Diaries Blog definitely proves it. Read about a college student who journeyed to Central America to end violence against women, or a woman who risked everything to become a charity racecar driving in Mongolia.

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Americans for UNFPA's Global Approach to Women's Activism

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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The Spirit of Activism Starts with an Education

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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Putting an End to Global Violence Against Women

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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One Woman Opens Doors for Generation of Girls

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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Discovering Women's "Safe Space" in Guatemala

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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Meeting the Guatemalan Girls of Abriendo Oportunidades

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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Exhausted in Antigua, the Land of Eternal Spring

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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Seeking Inspiration from Maryland to Guatemala City

Odunola Ojewumi, a college student who won UNFPA's Student Award, journeys to Central America to learn about women's issues.
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On the Road Again: The Mongolia Charity Rally

Drive Like a Woman's Michele Shapiro is at it again, driving with a team from London to Mongolia for charity.
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The Butterfly Effect: Female Independence

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events — like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings — can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and underappreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

June 15, 1990 was the day I arrived in the US as a bride. I was 20 years old and that was exactly 20 years ago. I remember that day so vividly. I changed into a new white outfit in the plane just before we landed. I put on my light pink lipstick. I puffed my curly hair and I walked into the terminal with my mother and 2 brothers to meet my husband-to-be and his family.
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5 Cool, Off-the-Beaten-Path Summer Festivals

Get in touch with your playful side at these annual offbeat summer festivals around the country.
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The Butterfly Effect: Qatar

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events — like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings — can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and underappreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

Even though I grew up in the Middle East and traveled to different parts of the world during my childhood, I had not been in a Middle Eastern country other than my home country Iraq, until I moved to the US. This week, my travels took me to a new Middle Eastern country that I have never visited before: Qatar.
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The Butterfly Effect: Facing Our Darkness

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events — like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings — can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and underappreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

I was just in Rwanda, where I decided to visit an orphanage that Alice Walker, Partihba Parmar, and I visited about three years ago. And though it is physically very different from the site of churches where massacres happened in Rwanda, both the orphanage and these churches have their own haunting stories. And every time I visit either site, I learn one more thing about the cruelty of humanity and human darkness, a darkness that is part of each one of us and does not only reside, as is often thought, in the depth of Africa or the Middle East or other parts of the world. The question is: How often do we acknowledge our own, individual darkness?
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The Butterfly Effect: It's a Small World After All

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events — like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings — can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and underappreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

You would think that growing up in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and eventually spending much of my professional life in war zones (I work with women survivors of war) would make me immune from the sadness brought about loss and death. But life does not work this way and, in many ways, I am glad it doesn’t. For I would worry about myself the day I stop crying when I hear the story of a woman who has been raped, or a child who has seen her father killed in front of her, or the death of a friend and a loved one, as I recently had with my friend Marla.
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A Road Trip for Music Lovers

For the country's best in blues and BBQ, head down to Memphis and the Mississippi Delta.
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Cancun: Not Just a Spring Break Destination

Want a quick beach getaway that doesn’t involve hundreds of drunk frat guys? Book your next trip here.
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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events—like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings—can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and under-appreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

You would think that growing up in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and eventually spending much of my professional life in war zones (I work with women survivors of war) would make me immune from the sadness brought about loss and death. But life does not work this way and, in many ways, I am glad it doesn’t. For I would worry about myself the day I stop crying when I hear the story of a woman who has been raped, or a child who has seen her father killed in front of her, or the death of a friend and a loved one, as I recently had with my friend Marla.
Share

The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events—like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings—can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and under-appreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

This is about the need for women to stand up together in this time more than any other time. This is about the need to create a global women’s movement whereby we connect the dots of discrimination between the glass ceiling in the corporate world and the lack of representation of women in peace negotiation and between the domestic violence and rape in the Western world with the rape of women in war zones. Women may look different all over the world. Some with their suites and others with their batik fabrics or saris, some with hair covered and some with all kinds of hair dos and hair colors. But all women face the central point of discrimination albeit the extremity of which may be different from Michigan to Kigali and from Manchester to Kabul.
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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events—like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings—can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and under-appreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

Right after my trip to Davos this past January, where I participated in the World Economic Forum representing my work with Women for Women International, I flew to Rwanda to participate in our annual staff retreat, where we reassessed our implementation plans that are aimed to help women survivors of war in countries such as Rwanda rebuild their lives. I have been traveling the world all my life now and I have never gotten used to adjusting and assimilating seamlessly from one extreme environment to another. And in the case of Davos to Kigali, these environments are drastically different.

Davos is a place that holds the richest and most successful people in the world and stands in stark contrast to Kigali, home to some of the poorest people in the world and the site of a horrible genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed and 500,000 women were raped in the span of 100 days. Emotionally, such transition always makes me frustrated at the injustice in this world. Small things such as the price of a shirt in Davos can literally help a whole family in Rwanda survive for an entire year–help the parents to get a job and the kids to go to school. The gap between the rich and the poor always frustrates me, even though I know that world is never a just place. The important point is not judging those who have or have not, but how we share, help and reach out to one another.
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The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for the concept that small, seemingly insignificant events—like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings—can produce tremendous and unanticipated consequences. In this blog, Zainab Salbi, the founder of the humanitarian group Women for Women International, explores the often untapped and under-appreciated capacity of women around the world to cause major and lasting change for good.

How easy is it to hold on to that Zen stage if one is living in a place where electricity is on and of every few hours, where there are gun shots, bomb explosions, or the arrival of another oppressor?
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