Oh, and did we mention her hair?
"There seems to be an unwritten law that every press report about me must contain the phrase 'mane of blonde hair,'" she acknowledged in her 1996 Kennedy Center speech, part of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives distinguished speakers series for that year. Threaded together with her personal experiences, it's a fascinating, free-ranging talk about the recent history of the Middle East and the mistrust that still characterizes many of the exchanges between the region and the West.
If you've ever had to handle expectations about your appearance in a talk, this one's for you. And there's loads more you can learn from this famous speech:
Among the most frequent and frustrating interview questions I am asked, one reflects the prevailing stereotypes of the Arab world: how could I as an independent, well-educated working Western woman adjust to life in the Arab world? In fact, my first impressions of Jordan were formed by my women friends, who were involved in many aspects of life, who were working, running family-owned factories, teaching...
...I was soon able to empathize with the frustrations of women around the world whose activism for public well-being commonly generated attempts to define them primarily in material rather than intellectual terms--in terms of gender and domesticity, their hairstyles and clothing.