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5 Questions with Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi

Kathy Karn

After years of persuading women in crisis to share their stories, humanitarian Zainab Salbi turns the lens on herself for her new book, Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World.

1. In what ways has your extraordinary humanitarian work pushed you to face your own darkness? What drove me to my humanitarian work was my anger at all the injustices women are facing. Eventually, I realized that if I continued to be driven by anger, I was risking becoming what I was fighting against and risking committing injustice against men.    2. How can we overcome the shackles of shame and secrets to share our authentic story? We each have two choices: Either keep our secrets of shame—and with that our imprisonment to that story—or take a leap of faith, own the story, tell it, and own our own liberation. The latter may sound scarier, but it will be your route to freedom.    3. What can we learn about ourselves when we embrace our shadow? In owning our shadow, we become more compassionate, loving, and forgiving of our vulnerabilities, insecurities, and fears. That, in turn, helps us to become more compassionate toward others.    4. How do you engage with people who appear to be opposed to your own truth? Both sides need to l …

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