The book "Barefoot in Baghdad" tells the story of an American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar, who moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can to rebuild their lives. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos.

Manal Omar serves as Director of Iraq Programs under the Center for Post-conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute for Peace. Previously, she was regional program manager for the Middle East for Oxfam - Great Britain, where she responded to humanitarian crises in Palestine and Lebanon. Omar has extensive experience in the Middle East. She worked with Women for Women International as regional coordinator for Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. Omar lived in Baghdad from 2003 to 2005 and set up operations in Iraq. She is on the board of directors of Women Without Borders, an international NGO based in Austria and an active member of the American Muslim community. In 2007, Islamica Magazine named her one of the ten young visionaries shaping Islam in America. She holds an M.A. in Arab studies from Georgetown University.

For a full review of the event, visit: islamicstudiescenter.gmu.edu/articles/1073

Held as part of the Fall 2010 Lecture Series
Recorded on September 16, 2010

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