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Oral History Interview with Zeinab Bader, March 23, 2018

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Zeinab Bader discusses her upbringing in Lebanon, touching on her family's religious convictions and her sister's death in childbirth. She elaborates broadly on the impact of the Lebanese Civil War on her family, including the deaths of two of her brothers, threats to her own safety, and its role in her family accepting her betrothal to her Palestinian husband. She also speaks about her immigration to the United States, raising her five children in Brooklyn, and her involvement in their religious and secular educations. She talks about her own work to empower Arab American women, especially through civic activism, access to family and mental health care, and special events. In addition, she addresses her own religious convictions and practices, battle with breast cancer, and involvement in the Arab American Association of New York. Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Biographical / Historical

Zeinab Bader was born in 1956 in Tyre, Lebanon, and immigrated to the United States with her husband and infant daughter in 1980. After settling in New York, she volunteered for several years as a teacher in an Arabic school run by the Palestinian Women's Association of New York. She resigned from the position in 1991 and spent several years raising her children, and then pursued work as a health insurance specialist. She also served on the board of Arab American Association of New York and organized their Mother's Day celebrations for several years.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at the Center for Brooklyn History's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201