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Hawa Abdi, M.D., operates a refugee hospital and camp serving nearly 100,000 people, primarily women and children, in war-ravaged Somalia, a country that most charities refuse to enter.

Abdi came to international prominence in May 2010 for standing up to hundreds of Islamist militants who tried to take control of her camp. When she and hundreds of women dared to protest the militants' occupation, the gunmen backed down, and even submitted to Abdi's demand for a written apology.

Abdi and her daughters, Deeqo Mohamed and Amina Mohamed, also doctors, were named three of Glamour's Women of the Year in 2010. "Their unwavering fortitude in the face of insurmountable obstacles is a testament to the warrior spirit of women," said Somalia-born cosmetics executive Iman. The Glamour piece called Abdi "equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo."

Abdi and her daughters also operate the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, which aims to ensure continued health care for Somali refugees and the people of East Africa. Abdi, whose camp began as a one-room clinic in 1983, holds degrees in gynecological medicine and law.

1 Program

Hawa Abdi: 21st Century Women

07.28.11 | 01:11:53 min | 1 comment