Refugee Week


The Journey

I came to Australia in 1993 as a refugee, when the Mujahideen took over Afghanistan. I experienced the war firsthand and understand the need for voices to represent innocent people who have faced — and are continuing to face – devastating conditions where human rights are not upheld. 

I pursued my education and made a life in Australia. 

Arriving in Australia

I received an honorary PhD from King’s International University in 2018. I also have higher education degrees from the University of Southern Queensland and Latrobe University, and various diplomas, certificates and letters from training institutions in Australia. My major area of expertise is developmental management, international relations and women’s rights.

I have worked to empower women in Afghanistan and Australia, paving the way for their leadership through my organisation Women Empowerment and Leadership (WEL). Now with roots in Afghan communities in both Australia and Afghanistan, I am a strong advocate for the women and children of Afghanistan both nationally and internationally.

I founded WEL in 2017 to support women and children and have also established several other organisations. Among them is Peace for Asia, one of the largest and most active human rights organisations in Geneva.

Giving back

As the founder and director of the Australian Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce, I have facilitated multiple economic opportunities between the two countries. Through this initiative, I have also introduced Australian-accredited courses to Afghanistan and created higher-education opportunities for Afghan students. Through the Chamber, we organised 35 PhD scholarships for highly educated Afghan men and women in Australian universities.

From 2016 to 2020 I was a cultural advisor to the Australian Defence Force before they left for Afghanistan. I led the Australian team and travelled to 25 countries to promote women’s rights and introduce Australian education to groups of women.

I have played a role in helping the Australian Government identify the most vulnerable groups for the humanitarian visas issued after the fall of the Afghan Government. In the weeks following, while visas were being issued, I worked to help the government relocate those visa holders to Australia. 

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