Marie-Joëlle Zahar has been an ICAN Board Member since 2019. In this interview, she reflects on her early experiences during the war in Lebanon and how they shaped her journey in the world of conflict resolution, peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction, and gendered work. Marie-Joëlle shares stories of her time as a Senior Expert on the Standby Team of Mediation Experts at the UNDPPA, what it was like being one of the few women in international mediation spaces, and her advice for the next generation of women peacebuilders and WPS practitioners. Read more to view the full conversation.
“We are not afraid, we are resisting”: A strong message from the Director of Myanmar’s Gender Equality Network
At 8pm every evening since February 1, 2021 hundreds of thousands across Myanmar bang pots and pans to demonstrate their non-violent resistance to the military coup. This symbolic act is part of the Red Ribbon campaign, a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. The movement’s message is clear, explains May Sabe Phyu, Director of the Gender Equality Network (GEN) and a member of WASL: “We are not afraid; we are resisting the coup.”
“Women peacebuilders run to the problem when everyone else is running away,” said ICAN’s CEO and Founder, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini. This statement could not be truer of award-winning Cameroonian peacebuilder, Esther Omam. Esther’s career has seen her go from development worker to humanitarian responder to mediator and peacebuilder, in the South-West region of Cameroon.
“I often dream the jasmine returns to Syria to decorate and perfume our streets.”
As the Syrian regime rained barrel bombs on her hometown in Syria, Najlaa and her family were forced to flee to Turkey where she established the first organization led by a Syrian woman to help other women refugees with literacy, economic empowerment, and psychosocial support.
Peace Hero Najlaa El Sheikh speaks to ICAN about her journey, her work, and her dreams.
We spoke to Yemeni peace activist Muna Luqman, co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network and member of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), about the war in Yemen, its devastating ramifications, and about the strength of Yemeni women in the face of this destruction.
Mira Kusumarini talks to ICAN about C-SAVE’s efforts to alter the lives of returnees and prepare their communities to accept them.
Nancy Yammout speaks to ICAN about Rescue Me’s efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate prisoners found guilty of terrorism —and how, over nine years, they’ve engaged with some 680 prisoners, and been pivotal in blocking their re-recruitment into terror groups.
Renowned documentary filmmaker Deeya Khan is recognized as a leader in the entertainment industry and on the human rights and peace-building scene. She spoke to us about her work, her vision and what she’s learned about extremism by confronting it face-to-face.
Dr. Fatima Akilu spoke to ICAN’s Aya Nader about how extremism affects women in her country, discussed rehabilitation and reintegration of extremists, and shared what motivates her to keep the fight for peace ignited.
Let’s celebrate the feminist men who fight for women, Rodolfo Domiguez Marquiz courageously fights Femicide with Accountability in Mexico
Mossarat Qadeem and the Tolana Mothers convince a dozen women to stop stitching suicide jackets for extremist groups.
How Hamsatu Allamin Changed Boko Haram to Boko Halal
Ahlem Nasraoui Fights Terrorism in Tunisia with Entrepreneurship
We spoke to Mossarat Qadeem, Executive Director of PAIMAN Trust, about Trump’s threat to cut financial aid from Pakistan, and about her own work.
Faiza Dhocob is Fighting Terror in Somalia in the Face of Destruction
Originally published as part of the Peace Heroes series on Ms Magazine Photos of dark skinned men, sometimes even boys, in military uniform holding big guns repeatedly emerge in the media. It is a sad fact, but communities in Kenya have been radicalized. The...
Visaka Dharmadasa led a delegation of mothers of missing servicemen into the jungles to meet with the guerillas who were responsible for their sons’ fate. She talked to us about her experience walking into the lion’s den—literally.
Bushra Qadeem Hyder, a pioneer in education, speaks of her journey of triumphs and challenges bringing up the next generation in a country saturated in conflict.