Sally Abi Khalil is a humanitarian and development practitioner with twenty years of experience in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. She is currently Country Director of Oxfam in Lebanon and has served as chair of the Lebanon Humanitarian INGO Forum. As the first Lebanese woman to run a major international NGO within the Syria Response in Lebanon, she has led humanitarian response programming, programs supporting youth and women with social innovation and social entrepreneurship initiatives, promoted the right to decent work, worked for the establishment of civil society networks, and promoted feminist approaches towards leadership and collective action.
Sally’s career has followed the trajectory of civil unrest in the Arab region where she played various roles in shaping civil society development and organizational leadership. She began her career at UNDP in Lebanon and went on to co-direct the Tharwa Project, an independent initiative launched in Syria to foster new avenues for communication and activism in the Arab region. Following the Cedar Revolution of 2005, Sally joined the National Democracy Institute (NDI), where she managed Citizen Lebanon, a nation-wide civic education and advocacy program. During the Arab Spring she worked on the Maghreb Youth Political Party Leadership Program in Tunisia and in the region and then went on to lead NDI’s Syria country program focusing on youth political leadership development and political party development.
Babz Rawls-Ivy talks with Sally Abi Khalil about the August 2020 explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.