Reunion

Two Iraqi Women Find Each Other After 20 Years

A heartwarming story out of Iraq. Zainab Salbi was born in Baghdad to a family in Iraq’s elite—her father was Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot—but moved to the U.S. in 1990. Her neighbor, Radhiya Ajrad, from a poor farming family, worked as a live-in maid in Zainab’s family from the age of seven. The two women both say they grew up as sisters. Zainab went on to attend university and then to found Women for Women, an organization that helps women in war zones. Radhiya stayed in Iraq, married and raised a family. But four years ago gunmen killed her husband in Baghdad, and surviving on charity, she enrolled in Women for Women. Zainab read the letter Radhiya sent to her Women for Women sponsor, and returned to Iraq to find her long-lost neighbor.