Women of the World Refugee Podcast

Women of the World is a women refugee service non-profit responsible for service and capacity building for our new neighbors in Salt Lake City Utah. Our podcast is a place where 'our ladies' can share their stories and aspirations and where we can highlight activities important to refugees and service providers.
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Women of the World Refugee Podcast




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Feb 23, 2018

WoW executive director Samira Harnish and board member Mary Dickson talk about the stories of refugees that have inspired them; Harnish shares her own experience of migrating to Utah from Baghdad, Iraq and how she came to establish Women of the World. 

Dec 29, 2017

Tamara tells the story of why she and her family immigrated from Iraq.

Jul 11, 2017

On this episode of the Women of the World podcast, we welcome Xinmeng (Miko) Zhang from the Salt Lake County Columbus Library ( to discuss their Year of Inclusion.

In addition to some great activities at the Columbus Library like the Build a Better World for Refugees and the Hope, Strength, Courage: The Refugee Experience A Community Dialogue, they will also be at the Utah Refugee Days along with Women of the World.

They have great book lists for youth and adults including:


May 2, 2017

What rights do human’s have to refuge? How far wrong is the value-claim that fails to extend any help to the victims of war and genocide? What has been our role in resettling refugees in previous administrations? What are the international legal precedents? 

In this episode of the Women of the World Refugee Podcast, we speak with Board Member of Women of the World and former UN High Commissioner on Refugees Legal Intern Laura Milliken Gray on these questions of the legal rights of refugees and the moral obligations we have to help them.

Apr 11, 2017

Women of the World is so fortunate to have had Abby as our first employee and founding member of WoW. Abby has done every job at WoW and has been an integral force for progress for so many refugee women and girls in Salt Lake City. In July, Abby will start medical school, so we are starting early in offering our thanks for her patience, kindness, intelligence, and diligence. Furthermore, we are asking her advice for how to continue to progress and improve.

As with anything where Abby is included at WoW, there are a great number of people that have terrific things to say about her. Podcast hosts Mary Dickson and Samira Harnish are joined by Pelagie, Kaltum, and Elisabeth to thank Abby for her assistance in their growth. Co-Founder Justin Harnish also recalls early impressions of Abby and her growth in the position that will benefit her and her patients as she becomes a doctor.

Feb 23, 2017

Saida is Somali, born in a refugee camp in Kenya and raised from age 3 in Utah. Saida is a poet and an activist, fitting a passionate voice and optimistic energy into her small, young frame. Wise and courageous beyond her years, Saida talks about newfound feelings of insecurity in her Utah home, a desire to set things right for kids like her growing up in refugee camps, and recites her poem read in the Utah state capitol.

The Fashion Show for International Women's Day is coming up on 9 March at 5:30 P.M. In addition to Saida reading her poem, comments from both the Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City Mayors, and musical performances by Monika Jalili -- there will be native fashions from our refugee ladies from all over the world. This event is the signature event of International Women's Day in Salt Lake City and tickets go fast. Go to to buy tickets.

Jan 19, 2017

Cosette was born and raised in a refugee camp in Rwanda but you could not possibly know that from her infectious smile and unparalleled optimism. Cosette talks to the Women of the World podcast team about her life in the refugee camp and her parallel dreams of raising her children with American opportunities and one day returning home to family, friends, and the place she calls home.

Cosette's story is indeed an amazing one but her process of telling it is nothing short of inspiring!

Nov 23, 2016

In this episode, the Women of the World podcast team reacts to the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President and takes questions from a young Syrian refugee woman. Women of the World feels uniquely on-edge given the rhetoric of candidate Trump, especially his statements about women and refugees. Women of the World is motivated to stand by our partners in the service community in Utah to support and advocate for groups targeted by the new administration.

Nov 6, 2016

Today we visit with the students of Women of the World's Intensive Practical English Program and learn about their lives before coming to Utah and their dreams for their lives after they have mastered English.

Sep 13, 2016

Today we visit with Chantelle whose infectious positivity will infect you with hope for a better tomorrow.

Jul 31, 2016

Welcome to the Women of the World podcast. Women of the World supports refugee women from all nations to help them achieve self-reliance, a voice in the community, and  economic success. Our podcast is a safe place for our ladies to share their stories of courage and success. 

Today we speak with Elisabeth from the Central African Republic about her life in CAR, her flight with her young children and her disabled mother and her arrival in Utah. In this interview we will hear about how Women of the World gave Elisabeth 110% by not stopping at just getting her a green card but also by getting her a job caring for her disabled mother and helping her find a more accessible apartment. Elisabeth shares her love for WoW and her desire to take her programs back to CAR and help women and girls there.

May 31, 2016

Women of the World's Podcast for this month features Diane from Burkina Faso, one of the political asylee seekers that Women of the World assists. Diane is an amazing young woman, choosing her path against the pressure of family and culture, choosing to be happy even though she has suffered some very personal tragedies.

Diane is extraordinarily courageous in this interview as she talks about her young life of political dissent where rape was used as a tactic of intimidation, overcoming the stigma of female genital cutting, and her current struggle to gain an education against the wishes of her father and tribal chief who is set on a more traditional life for her. 

Women of the World's Podcast team also discusses the recent Mother's Day celebration and some international press coverage we received on the Bold Global blog.

Welcome to the Women of the World podcast. Women of the World supports refugee women from all nations to help them achieve self-reliance, a voice in the community, and  economic success. Our podcast is a safe place for our ladies to share their stories of courage and success. 

May 5, 2016

In this month's episode of the Women of the World Podcast, we cover

1. Women Mormon Conference

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference gave direction to its followers to serve refugees through local organizations. On their new webpage they give inspiration and scripture for their commitment to refugees. The relief effort "I Was a Stranger” allows the Mormon faithful to reflect back on when they were refugees themselves, forced to flee Missouri in 1839, being both welcome and derided but eventually making their way west to Utah.

Our new webpage, answers some of the question from the website and steps through our volunteering process. With your help, refugees will be strangers no more.

2. Founder Samira Harnish Awarded Ruby Award for Excellence in Women’s Advocacy

Read more at…

3. Mothers Day Celebration with The Leonardo Museum’s Community Connections
When: Sunday, 8 May 2016. Doors open at 2 p.m., Program to begin at 2:30 p.m.
Where: The Leonardo Museum. 209 East 500 South, Salt Lake City.
What: Celebration of mothers from all over the world.
Cost: Free.
Read more at…
4. Stepping Back From the Ledge As Sisters
A touching story of a recent walk-in service opportunity that led to a bond of sisterhood between Samira and a young Congolese mother...
5. Peace and Justice Conference
Samira recently spoke alongside a panel from Utah Health and Human Rights and Department of Workforce Services at Utah Valley University about the unique issues that face refugee women. 
6. Updated Website
Women of the World has recently updated the look and feel of its website at  Let us know what you think.
7. Monthly Story of Refugee Success

Beautiful inside & out.

Originally from Morocco, Layla just a graduate of dental assisting studies. I have no doubt that Layla will get a great job working with patients to make their smiles that much brighter. 

Please let us know what you think of our podcast