Zainab Salbi is an author, humanitarian, and media commentator who founded the nonprofit organization Women for Women International when she was only 23 years old. With Sounds True, she has published the book Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Zainab discuss what it means to be an agent of social change while also navigating the everyday journey of being human. They talk about why it’s necessary to let go of what no longer works in our lives in order to embrace our most deeply held truths. As an Iraqi-American, Zainab speaks on engaging with people whose values oppose ours—especially those who currently oppose Muslim immigration to the United States. Finally, Zainab and Tami talk about the healing power of making amends and what “freedom” really means. (83 minutes)
Zainab teaches how we can befriend people who hold opposing views not through debate, but through embrace and a strong, open stance that is curious about the other person’s underlying needs and emotions. I believe this skill—truly understanding people who disagree with us and feel “other”—is one of the most important skills we need to be peacemakers and bringers of love in all of our interactions.