Nina-Iraq 2 English Cover

Nina-Iraq 2 English Cover

“By lighting a path for tomorrow, Nina connects our todays”.        (extract from the Nina poem )

Nina Magazine,  in English and Arabic  is a women’s economic  empowerment magazine focussing on Iraq and the Iraqi diaspora, but with the aim of being the go-to magazine for women across the Middle East. There are three key areas of focus:

  • Enabling real voices to tell real stories, sharing experience strength and hope in a way that supports empowerment inside and outside the home, whilst responding to current issues. This also includes communicating a toolkit around business support, employability and educational opportunities.
  • Campaigning for equal opportunities, based on turning the 60% of women that are economically inactive in Iraq into a powerful force for nation building, driving GDP growth and thus overall stability.
  • Trading for success – by creating a powerful network of potential opportunity  linked by the fundamental value/ concept of Women’s Economic Empowerment between countries involved in the growing Nina network (i.e UK, Sweden, Jordan, Iraq)


The story so far….

September 2013 : UK based Madeleine White, communications and capacity building specialist with ties to Iraq  is tasked by PSDC, an Iraqi NGO, to create a women’s economic empowerment project, that is able to address current key issues for women in Iraq. The concept of Nina as a magazine to create awareness as well as being financially sustainable is presented and agreed.

Madeleine image (2)

November 2013: Madeleine White as the new project lead and Editor in Chief becomes co-founder, together with Khalid Mahdi PSDC chair, of Nina Magazine. The funding for this comes from the World Bank Group and is administered by Dr Stephen Rimmer, who also becomes board member. Dame Zaha Hadid agrees to be lead interview for issue 1.

December 2013: Charlotte Kalin, CEO Chamber Trade Sweden joins the board – pledges commercial funding support – advertising and distribution. Volunteers and advisers start emerging, from countries across the Middle East and the UK. Strategic partnership agreed with  and Iraq Business News.

February 2014: MW visits Kurdistan. Oil and Gas company Afren and ME telecoms giant Asiacell pledge commercial support. UK based finance Interns sponsor education pages. Microsoft agrees to strategic partnership with Aspire Women portal.

Nina 1 Arabic Cover_page_001

Nina, Issue 1

29th April 2014: Nina is launched at the House of Commons by Lorley Burt MP, the UK’s women’s enterprise champion in the House of Commons on 29th. Supported by Baroness Symonds of Vernham Dean, Chair of the ABCC, the launch was attended by senior members of the business community in Iraq, Sweden and UK.

May 2014: Nina launched in Stockholm, with support from Ewa Bjorling, Swedish Minister for trade and Chamber Trade Sweden.

June 2014: Nearly 200 business leaders, politicians, civic society leaders and even Miss Kurdistan for Peace attended the Iraqi launch of Nina, held at Suleimania’s Grand Millennium Hotel, thanks to the generosity of sponsors Asiacell.

Mosul is invaded by Isis.

Sana editor nina-iraqJuly 2014: Arabic media specialist Sana Bekki joins Team Nina as Vice Editor in Chief. In the face of the ensuing military and humanitarian crisis it became clear Nina will not be able to create a printed edition in September as planned. So, faced with almost insurmountable political circumstances focus is on developing Nina’s online presence at

August 2014: Nina signs an MOU with Iraq Business Council in Jordan.

September 2014: A decision is made to print a December issue if at all possible using Iraqi distributors and printing house in Karbala

October- November 2014: Working together – London based diaspora Huda, joins as freelance designer (late nights with 3 children mean Nina has becomes her 4th child); Nigar Kurdish diaspora, based in Sweden, mobilises the Chambers behind Nina workshops in Sulimania and distribution of Nina in Kurdistan. Sura from her new home in Denver, handles growing customer service enquiries whilst World Bank specialist Lemya translates, negotiates and supports from Baghdad. Uns, as a special advisor based in Jordan, leverages her global connections and superb writing and design flair in support of a project she considers ‘precious’. Linz from Benefacto a corporate volunteer portal in the UK brings some great new writers and the Iraqi Cultural centre hosts a Nina event in London.

November 2014:

17th November: Nina Editor in Chief Madeleine white presents Nina at IWEC in Stockholm

International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge, a worldwide chamber of commerce network encouraging women driven businesses to expand internationally at their international conference in Stockholm in November, 2014. Request for Nina concept to come into other countries as a trailblazing project for WEE.

25th Printed Proof is created and checked by volunteer Hawraa – with no print experience – everything done over viber.

26th Due to difficulties of distribution international distribution costs are doubled. Alternatives are sourced.

28h: Internal distribution starts.

December 2014:

5th Nina digital copy is published

5th  Internal distribution completed

Tuesday 9th  Nina arrives in Dubai

Thursday 10th Nina arrives in Jordan

Saturday 12th Nina arrives Stockholm

Monday 15th Nina arrives in UK

30th December The story of Nina Issue 2 is published as a video on You Tube, and shared in person in her story Triumph Despite Adversity  by  Iraqi Business woman Hawraa Abdullah Abbas (see above).

March 2015 Nina is featured as a key publication in the Spring Arab International Woman’s Forum (AIWF) newsletter. See this link for full story.

April 2015 Nina magazine is featured as a leading article in Northern Ireland’s foremost women’s magazine

NIna Magazine at IBC offices in Abu Dhabi Nina magazine can now be found in the offices of the Iraq Business council in Abu Dhabi.





The Next Steps,  January 2015 onwards:


Over the next three months our editorial theme will be health and well-being. Nina will be exploring human resources, health suppliers and indeed differing needs of men and women to ensure performance and opportunities are maximised.


Our continued growth is thanks to strategic partnerships with organisation such as Asiacell, Afren, Chamber Trade Sweden and Microsoft.  Chamber Trade Sweden is the main current funding partner, ensuring digital continuity over the next few months.

To ensure ongoing sustainability Nina is dependent on philanthropy and corporate social responsibility funding. Early 2015 – NOW – is a critical period. By supporting Nina, corporations are able to shape tools and mechanisms that allow Iraqi women to contribute to their own and their family’s financial security. This gives potential workforce and supply chain entrepreneurs status and a voice in society which then allows them to function as catalysts for social and economic change reflecting overall GDP growth. This first person account story for Nina from GE, by female manager Noor is a great example of how a CSR spend on Nina is able to support a positive corporate brand image.

Find out more.


Nina Magazine is delighted to be playing a pivotal role in Iraq’s International Women’s Day Celebrations on 7-8th March as media partner. Hosted in the Grand Millennium Hotel in Suleimania, over 300 delegates from across Iraq and internationally are expected to enjoy two days of knowledge-share and Kurdish hospitality. See this link for the full story.