The 2016 Carol Hoffmann Collins Global Scholar-in-Residence is Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi-American author, media presence, and activist. Salbi has dedicated her life to women’s rights and freedom. She is the founder of Women for Women International, a humanitarian organization that distributes aid and microcredit to help women survivors of wars to rebuild their lives. As editor-at-large for Women in the World, a news platform produced in collaboration with the New York Times, she reports on the intersection of Middle Eastern and Western cultures.
“Have you built a restaurant for the school?” a teacher asked on his first visit to the Baale Parwaz Library. I laughed in response. The space—bare except for some newly set up furniture—did not yet give off much of a library feeling. The books had not even been delivered yet. But his question revealed something even greater: a cultural lack of familiarity with an open, peaceful space for studying and collaborating.
This article was originally published in the Hindustan Times Education Supplement.
As more and more students become interested in liberal arts colleges abroad, many discover that some of the best options in the United States are single-sex colleges for women only. Often the mere suggestion of such a learning environment evokes a strong “no” response from parents and students alike. “The real world is coed,” some parents assert. Or, “it doesn’t seem normal to study without boys around,” female applicants argue.
The community at Mount Holyoke will inspire you—and powerful, global conversations.
Changemakers seize opportunities. They raise their voices. They harness the power within their reach and set things in motion. They discover leadership potential they never knew they had—or that the world never knew they had.
Imagine you are navigating a maze—not knowing which route to take, mystified by what lies ahead. You are at crossroads, and nothing matters more than the course you will pursue. Then you gaze past the thicket and set foot on a trail, with high hopes of reaching the dale.
That, in a nutshell, was how I felt right before my adventurous journey to Mount Holyoke College commenced. I set my course, packed my suitcases, and flew west, into the land of opportunities.