Community Post

Rita Zawaideh Named 2013 Globalist of the Year

The Seattle Globalist will honor Rita Zawaideh and five others (including Central District residents Anna Goren and Jill Mangaliman) at Washington Hall Friday October 4th.


Rita Zawaideh
Owner, Caravan-Serai Tours
Board of Directors, Arab American Community Coalition of Washington State
Board of Directors, Salaam Cultural Museum

It was tough to get ahold of Rita Zawaideh to tell her she’d won the Globalist of the Year Award, because she was out of the country, leading a humanitarian mission in Jordan and Syria. We finally spoke with her yesterday, at about one o’clock in the morning Jordan time.

She had spent the day with a group of 29 doctors from the US and a dozen local volunteers distributing medical supplies and care along the Syria-Jordan border. Jordan is struggling to meet the basic needs of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Water is one of the biggest issues.

“Even if it happened in Seattle, we couldn’t take care of everyone. But then you put these people in a water-scarce country like Jordan, and it’s impossible.” Rita said she’d met one woman who went eight months without a shower.

The awards committee was moved not only by Rita’s current relief work, but by her long devotion to social justice. One member said,”Rita is a powerhouse of activism in the Arab community in Seattle. She has been active on civil rights issues for many years, Arab-American issues (like organizing training for teachers in the school districts of Iraq refugees), she founded the Arab American Community Coalition and then the Salaam Cultural Museum to help foster understanding between Arab Americans and the rest of the American society.”

Another member added, “I nominated Rita for her local/global work. Rita’s organization is tiny, yet influences a large group of people. She is relentless. She works on multiple levels, individuals, organizations, governments, which makes her cumulative work more effective.”

Congratulations, Rita! Thank you for all of the work that you do.

2013 Seattle Globalist Contributor Awards

(in alphabetical order)
In addition to the community-nominated Globalist of the Year, we will also be honoring five of our wonderful contributors on October 4th. Here’s what happened when we called up our first Globie Award winner:

Liliana Caracoza, in her Kickstarter video talking about why she wants to volunteer in Mexico

Liliana Caracoza.

Liliana Lopez Caracoza is a member the Seattle Globalist Youth Apprenticeship program. She is a student at Tacoma Community College, working to become a journalist. She sees journalism as a way to be aware of issues not just in the United States but in the whole world. She is interested in reporting on Mexico, especially the way the drug cartels affect the lives of everyday citizens.

In her year as a Globalist Apprentice, Liliana has reported on everything from Mexican culture toimmigration reform.

In July, she ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to support an independent  project in Mexico, where she is currently reporting on indigenous women in the state of Veracruz.

Congratulations Liliana!

Anna Goren

Anna Goren.

Anna Goren is a native Seattleite who is carrying on the Jewish tradition of having strong opinions about food. She has taught community nutrition and cooking classes, collaborated with farmers markets to glean produce for food banks, assisted a local healthy grocery startup, and apprenticed on an urban donation farm in Berkeley, CA. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal, QC where she studied International Development and Social Work. When she’s not thinking about social justice, Anna can be found biking around Seattle thinking about interesting sandwich combinations.

Anna has a knack for exploring complex policy issues and making them relevant to everyday life. She has written about diversity and farmers markets, the local food movement, and volunteering abroad–and she is the Globalist contributor with by far the best understanding of the all-powerful farm bill.

Congratulations Anna!

Abby Higgins in Nairobi, Kenya.

Abby Higgins in Nairobi, Kenya.

Abby Higgins is a travel writer and journalist who splits her time between Kenya and her hometown in Washington State. She speaks French and Swahili and received her BA in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. In addition to writing, she has spent the past three years working in development and women’s rights in East Africa. You can read more of her writing at

This year she produced Slum Rising, a series of stories on the surprising innovations coming out of slums around the world, which she supported through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The series appeared on the front page of The Seattle Times and received hundreds of Facebook shares, Tweets and comments.

Congratulations Abby!


Jill Mangaliman.

Jill Mangaliman is a queer, Fil-Am, jack of all trades community organizer from Seattle, focused on issues of racial, gender, and environmental justice. They are a founding board member of Got Green, and a member of the Healthy Food Access Team, BAYAN PNW, and Pin@y sa Seattle. For fun, they like singing/writing about love and revolution.

Jill has written about urban poverty in the Philippinesburning an effigy of the president in Manilajuvenile justice in Seattle, and a flash mob to support women’s rights. Jill is a true Globalist–with an ear to the ground on what’s happening in the social justice world in Seattle. Next time you see an enticing rally OR dance party on our events calendar, you should probably send your thanks to Jill.

Congratulations Jill!

Muatasim Qazi.

Muatasim Qazi is a Pakistani journalist nowliving in exile in the US. He is assistant editor for The Baloch Hal, an online newspaper which reports human rights violations and religious extremism in Balochistan and has been banned by Pakistani authorities.

Muatasim is one of those journalists who can cover just about anything: he has written about everything from drone strikes in Pakistan todating in Seattle. His stories, whether political or personal, always stir up powerful conversations.


Congratulations Qazi!


Join The Seattle Globalist in honoring all of our Globie Award winners at Washington Hall, Friday October 4th at 6:30pm. Buy Tickets »

2 thoughts on “Rita Zawaideh Named 2013 Globalist of the Year

  1. All seem awesome. I am learning something new about people in my community by reading this article. I have to admit to almost forgetting about the Globalist. Jessica, thank you for the article