Founder of Women Now for Development.
Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer and journalist. She studied Arabic literature at Latakia University before starting a career in journalism and scriptwriting for Syrian film and television. Her writing spans several styles: novels, short stories, film scripts, television dramas, film and TV criticism and has been translated into numerous languages, including Dutch, French, English, Italian, and German.
Yazbek’s 2002 debut novel, titled Tiflat as-Sama, challenged existing taboos in Syrian society. Her activism is at the core of her literary works. Yazbek has been a prominent voice in support of human rights and women's rights in Syria. She was an active participant in the Women’s Initiative Organization, a center that defends the freedom of speech for Syrian journalists. She was an editor for Women of Syria, a feminist electronic magazine and human rights group. In 2012, Yazbek won the Penn Pinter prize, a prestigious literary award. She used the funding to launch an organization called Women Now for Development, a nonprofit run by Syrian women for Syrian women, that empowers local women and amplifies their voices.
Last modified: 01/09/2019