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November 30, 2021
Fig Authentic: Manal Omar
For 25 years, Manal Omar has dedicated herself to humanitarian causes and conflict resolution, including work as a frontline civilian peace builder in war zones from Iraq to Nigeria to Afghanistan. Manal was named among “Top 500 World’s Most Influential Arabs” by Arabia Business Power in 2011 and 2012. She was recognized among the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by Georgetown University and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in 2009. In 2007, Islamic Magazine named Manal one of the 10 young visionaries shaping Islam in America, and more recently George Mason University named her among 50 Exemplars for their 50 year anniversary. Manal is a member of the Truman National Security Fellowship, an inaugural fellow for Foreign Policy Interrrupted, connected to the Sex Coach University community, and an Ambassador for Millions of Conversations.
Creator and founder of #LetLoveIn campaign through her Across Red Lines foundation, Manal dedicates her life’s work to women finding their authenticity and aliveness while not losing connection to their faith. In her Ted Talk, “Women at the negotiating table—the missing piece in peacebuilding,” Manal focuses on her belief that the peacebuilding community needs to change its approach to conflict resolution by inviting women, with their full sexuality intact, to take a seat at the negotiating table, where currently less that 10% of negotiators are women.
Manal’s memoir, “Barefoot in Bagdad,” is a riveting story of hope and despair, of elation and longing—her words take the reader to the front lines of a different kind of battle, where the unsung freedom fighters are strong, vibrant, and female.