Zainab Al-Suwaij

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Zainab Al-Suwaij co-founded Women for a Free Iraq with Ala Talabani in 2003. "They only met personally after the American occupation" in Iraq. [1]

"Having previously worked resettling Sudanese refugees in the US, Al-Suwaij is also outspoken on genocide in Sudan. In April of 2006, she spoke at a national rally for Darfur alongside George Clooney and other interfaith activists.

"She also collaborates with the genocide education project Facing History and Ourselves." [2]


Harvard Gazette, November 18, 2004:

"Now 33, Al-Suwaij grew up under the harsh rule of Saddam Hussein, took up arms against the Iraqi ruler, and today is working to bring democracy - and especially women's rights - to a country that is struggling both with Hussein's legacy and an age-old authoritarian tradition."
She has met with President George W. Bush at the White House and spoken to the Republican National Convention.
"Before becoming a peace-wager, Al-Suwaij was a warrior - and has the bullet scar on her cheek to prove it. When her classmates were forced to march holding pictures of Hussein, Al-Suwaij often sneaked away. At 20, during the 1991 Gulf War, she heeded the words of the first President Bush, who broadcast messages on Voice of America urging the Iraqi people to rebel against Hussein, promising that U.S. forces would support them. As an armed fighter, she helped to liberate provinces and to open the gates of a prison where there was a human meat grinder for those who didn't confess. The promised support from the United States never arrived, and the battle-scarred veteran went into exile in the United States.
"Following the tragedies of Sept. 11 Al-Suwaij created the American Islamic Congress with the goal of promoting moderation and tolerance within and outside the Islamic community. After the American occupation of Iraq she has also spent 14 months there working to develop projects focused on improving the educational system - her schools for dropouts have a 97 percent rate of success - and empowering Iraqi women.
"Al-Suwaij credits her drive to organize for democracy to lessons learned from her grandfather, a Shiite ayatollah. 'My family is shocked. I am the first woman in my family who doesn't just stay home,' she said. 'My grandmother didn't believe it when she saw my photo with Bush in the Iraqi papers.'"

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Who We Are, American Islamic Congress, accessed September 29, 2007.
  2. Steering Committee, Bipartisan Policy Center, accessed February 22, 2011.
  3. Directors, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, accessed April 11, 2010.

External links