'I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1991. My mother is a Dari literature teacher. My father is a freelance journalist and author, who brought me up with deep love and appreciation for literature and writing. I have had the rare opportunity of having a satisfactory education, something not available to the majority of women in Afghanistan.
I learned English and basic computer skills when our family moved to Peshawar after the Taliban entered Afghanistan. In 2001, we returned to Afghanistan and started an English language center for about 400 women in the Qalaye Fatehullah region of Kabul. I was enrolled at International School of Kabul (ISK) in August 2005, but I could not afford to pay the fee for this school, which is the only American school in Afghanistan. The school needed a translator so we agreed that I would have a work-study scholarship for me as a translator. In ISK I was able to attain an education that Afghan public schools were not able to provide.
In 2008, I was surprised by an even better opportunity to continue my education. Thanks to the support of George School and various generous individuals, I was very fortunate to attend George School located in Pennsylvania to complete the two last years of high school. Right now, I am a first-year student at Dickinson College and I intend to study sociology and music.
Due to family financial difficulties, at a very early age, I started working with Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe) as a writer of children’s programs. Later, I became the executive assistant of Huma Media Group and assistant of Huma Monthly Publication, dedicated to broadcasting the voices of children and teenagers to promote action from the government and non-governmental organizations to provide for education, health care, and other basic needs of children. I wrote articles for this publication.
In 2005, I joined the Radio Television of Afghanistan, where I wrote scenarios for a kids’ TV show. In 2004 I worked with Welfare Development for Afghan Women (WDAW), an Afghan independent nonprofit organization, as a translator and later as a project manager.
In 2006 and 2007, I was employed by German Technical Cooperation - Basic Education Program for Afghanistan, as a translator. As an outcome of my work at GTZ-BEPA, a book of six translated short stories for children was printed and distributed among the children of Afghanistan in Afghanistan. This was one of my first efforts towards children’s literature, during which I worked with children who prepared the drawings for the book and wrote their thoughts about the book. This project later inspired another project called: Voices for Hope, which focused on assisting children to write and think creatively. Later, I worked with GTZ to collect three hundred couplets and songs from traditional women’s music in Afghanistan.
During the summer of 2010, I ran a creative writing program called Voices for hope for 30 children and youth with the assistance of another volunteer group, Youth in Action Association. This project taught me many lessons including the importance of expression for youth and the outcome of this project inspired me to design a new project called Stories to Heal, which assisted a hundred Afghan orphans in creative writing.
Later, I created Young Women for Change (YWC), an organization dedicated to empowering Afghan women in April of 2011, and worked with the organization until it became self-sufficient on October 2012.
I also worked with Afghan Children’s Songbook. This project funded by The American Embassy in Afghanistan has been a wonderful experience that has allowed me to work with children and their families, collected children’s folkloric music and games, teach singing to the children and create a CD of the songs. Once this project is completed, a book and a CD of children’s songs will be produced and distributed across Afghanistan to promote child literacy and folkloric music.
Now, I am a junior at Dickinson College located in Pennsylvania, USA studying sociology and I write about issues regarding gender discrimination and women in Afghanistan.
My education in Pakistan, at public schools in Kabul, at the International School of Kabul, at George School and, finally, at Dickinson College, continues to enable me to think critically and imagine a more safe and just world for our children.
I dream of living a life dedicated to promoting gender equality and education in Afghanistan.'