who will change the way
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200 Women is a book and exhibition inspired by a belief that you can’t empower women without listening to their stories. Our subsequent idea was to persuade two hundred women in different parts of the world - whether they be rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown - to sit or stand in front of a plain sheet of fabric and to be photographed and filmed while answering five fundamental questions.
Our goal was not to make a book about just successful and powerful women; those stories are important, but we wanted diversity, and above all, authenticity. Two hundred 'real women', with 'real stories'.
Mariam Shaar was born in the Bourj El Barajneh refugee camp, Lebanon, where she now lives, to Palestinian parents. She has been a social worker for almost twenty years, and runs the Bourj El Barajneh Center of the Women's Program Association, an organisation that provides education, vocational-skills training and microloans to women in eight out of the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. In 2013, with seed funding from Alfanar, a venture philanthropy, she founded Soufra, a catering business that employs women from Bourj El Barajneh camp.