Manal Omar

Who is She?


Launched her career as a journalist in the Middle East in 1996. UNESCO recruited her to work on one of her first lead assignments in Iraq in 1997-1998. Omar worked more than three years with the World Bank’s development economics group. She has carried out training programs in Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Sudan, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kenya and many other countries.

Omar’s activities have been profiled by the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC, NPR, Glamour, the London Times and Newsweek. Her articles and opinion pieces have appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, Azizah Magazine and Islamica Magazine.

Omar is on the Advisory Board of Peaceful Families Project, an organization with international reach that recognizes domestic violence is a form of oppression that affects people of all faiths, and an active member of the American Muslim community. In 2007, Islamic Magazine named her one of the ten young visionaries shaping Islam in America. She holds an M.A. in Arab studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in international relations from George Mason University.

Partial List of Productions:

    • “Islamists are Coming,” author Libya chapter (2012).
    • “The Trust Africa,” author Libya chapter.
    • “The Democracy and Transition,” author Libya chapters.
    • “Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity — My Own and What it Means to Be a Woman in Chaos,” author (2010).
    • “Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq,” co-author Oxfam Briefing Paper (July 30, 2007).
    • “I felt more welcome in the Bible belt,” Guardian, April 20, 2007.
    • “My Iraqi Wedding,” Washington Post, March 19, 2006.
    • “Islamic Feminism,” in Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (February 2006).
    • “Non-Governmental Organizations,” in Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (February 2006).
    • “Post Conflict and Reconstruction,” in Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice (February 2006).
    • “Women, Gender and Development and Family (Modernization, Assimilation): Iran and Afghanistan,” in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (December 2005).
    • “In the Sea of National Building: Anchoring Women’s Rights in the Iraqi Constitution,” Critical Half (Summer 2005).
    • “Windows of Opportunity: The Pursuit of Gender Equality in Post-War Iraq,” (lead author/researcher) Women for Women International Briefing Paper (January 2005).
    • “Men and Masculinity: Implementing Development Programs in MENA,” paper presented at civil society conference in Fes, Morocco. (February 2002).
    • “The Impact of Delayed Marriage on Women in MENA,” Al-Raida Journal – Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, Lebanese American University (December 2001).
    • “The Marriage Mystery: Exploring Late Marriage in MENA,” paper presented at the Second Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, Florence (March 21-25, 2001).
    • “Towards a more Inclusive Agenda for Muslim Women,” Yemeni Times, April 23 2000.
    • “Journalists Are Cautious in Criticizing Jordan’s Tough New Press Law,” The Washington Report (October/November 1997).
    • “Greater awareness needed to combat growth of AIDS,” The Star, December 5, 1996
    • “Palestinians recall events of the second Intifada,” The Star, October 31, 1996.
    • “Violence against women: Myth or reality?” The Star, October 10, 1996.