Board of Directors Bios
Asma Faizi is the President of the Afghan Women's Organization. She is a lawyer and currently working as an associate at Torys LLP where she primarily focuses on intellectual property litigation matters involving patents, trademarks and copyright She has a Master of Science in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto. . She has been advocating on behalf of Afghan women for over a decade, in Canada, and internationally, on human rights issues.
Nazia Ullah is a member of the Afghan Women's Organization and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Since coming to Canada in 1991, Nizia has tirelessly volunteered her time to help advance AWO's mission of empowering newcomers. At present, she is an account executive at State Farm Insurance and is also pursuing degree from Athabasca University and working towards completing her Chartered Insurance Professional Designation.
Latifa Sarwari is the Treasurer of Board of Directors of Afghan Women Organization. She obtained a B.Com degree from University of Toronto in 2002, later she completed her Certified General Accountant "CGA" designation in 2007, and she has also completed the CICA In-Depth Tax Course in 2009. She worked at Ernst&Young as Senior Tax Accountant and at State Farm Insurance as Analysis, Reporting and Tax Accountant. Currently she is working as an Assistant Manager of Taxation at Northbridge Financial Corporation.
Sharifa Ahmadzai is member of Board of Directors at Afghan Women's Organizations. She has bachelors of Journalism form university of Kabul, In Afghanistan she worked as a producer, writer and host of two famous shows Zamzama Hai Shab Hangam and Walali. Currently she is working and assisting Afghan Media.
Najiba Shairzay a formal teacher was the founder and the principal of Hazrat-e-Bibi Aisha school for girls. She organized various extracurricular activities in after school hours and during summer holiday; eg., Sewing, English courses, Rug weaving, Beats sewing, Literacy courses, Calligraphy and much more. Moreover, she volunteered in various different locations such as Senior Link, Afghan Women's Organization and various other locations. Najeeba is a mother of one son and two daughters.
Freshta Raoufi is currently a Master's candidate at the school of public policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. She has completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts at U of T in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. She has worked in various Ontario public Service offices such as the Minister's office in the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities and the Deputy Minister's office in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs. She is currently working part-time at Queen's Park in MPP Joe Dickson's office as the legislative assistant. Freshta is also a part-time policy consultant at the Tapscott Group. She is dedicated to developing a new model to improve women's economic development in Third World nations.
Mashal Siddiqi, is mother of four children. She is holding university degree from faculty of Literature Kabul University. After completing her high education, she worked as teacher at a girl's high school. During war her family move to Mazar-e-sharif North of Afghanistan. There she got job at CFDO (Community For a Devilment Organization) one of United Nation's support organization where she gained experience in working with communities specially women. She sontinued her work during Taliban. after 9/11 she worked with several nongovernmental organizations including UNICEF, UN Habitat. She also worked with the Ministry of Education, Constitution Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.
Shakila Hassanyar is member of Board of Directors at Afghan Women’s Organization. She has Agriculture degree form university of Kabul, and owns and operates a hair salon since 1998 in Toronto. She has been actively involved in community for years, from 1999-2005 she has served as a council member, women’s development chair, on The Agha Khan Ismaili Council for Ontario, she has also served as a board member on Focus North America. Since August 2009 she is a Board member on The Agha Khan Economic Planning Board for Canada.
Wajma Soroor BA Hons., is a multimedia artist with experiences in stage, film and radio for CBS, CBC and CanStage in Canada and abroad. She is also a vocalist and has performed for the Afghan diaspora in Europe and North America. Wajma was born to Afghan actors Khan and Mazida Soroor and is the sister of singer and TV personality Walid Soroor, singer and educator Waheed Soroor, singer and producer Kice Soroor and poet and composer Wais Soroor. Wajma's creative upbringing is made whole by her passion for global leadership and health equity. She is currently studying Nursing at York University (BScN accelerated) and fully commits her talents to the promise of a healthy future for all. In addition to her studies, Wajma volunteers with various sectors and is a board member of the Afghan Women's Organization.
Hassiba Anna Esmatyar is a member of Board of Directors at Afghan Women’s Organization. She has a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from Seneca college, and Faculty of Engineering Architecture and Science ( FEAS) -Ryerson University, PMAC Diploma in Principals of buying from Centennial college. She has also successfully completed the TTC Personal and Professional Skills Diploma and a certificate in MS Office XP form CDI College. She is currently working as a Training Coordinator truck and structure department, Wilson yard-plant building, Toronto Transit Commission.
Zohra Safi's professional interests lie in community advocacy and social justice. She has been actively involved in the community development field for over 7 years both in Afghanistan and international settings. Zohra has worked for a number of organizations in Afghanistan and the United States that provided support for women's empowerment and equal participation in Afghan society. Durint the course of her work in Afghanistan, she learned a lot about the importance of community level advocacy in creating awareness to bring about a positive change in people's lives. Zohra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies from Middlebury College in the United States. She is fluent in Pashto, Dari, English, Arabic, Urdu, and has also studied International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the American University in Washington, D.C. Zohra's international background and experience in different environments have provided her with an understanding of different worldviews and given her valuable insights into different cultures and issues that impact our society of 21st century. She believes through organizing, creating awareness, and advocacy we can affect positive changes in our community and enhance people's quality of life.
Ms. Rasul was first introduced to Afghan Women's Organization as a client in 1989 when she came as a refugee to Canada. She iss busy mother of four children. Kobra is a good role model for other refugees. She raised well educated children who contribute positively in Canadian society. Kobra has volunteered extensively for the newcomer's community and particularly with the Afghan Women's Organization by assisting in organization of events and conferences. She is well trained and established member of the Catering Group and a role medel for newcomer women.
Sheba Sheranze has an educational and work background revolving around the Financial Services Industry in Customer Service and Finance. Sheba completed her Bachelor's of Business Administration from University of Toronto in 2008. She is in the process of completing her Certified Management Accountant designation. While in school she was VP Finance for the U of T Afghan Student Body. Her work includes several positions at Scotia Bank and she is currently a Citizen Service Officer at Employment Insurance Canada. Sheba is a fluent in English, Farsi, Hindi, Baluchi & Dari.
Ms. Akbari has completed her formal education in Afghanistan. She moved to Pakistan in 1987 where throughout her 14 year of stay, she was busy teaching Afghan refugee children. She moved to Canada with her family in 2001 and has attended various English and educational programs. She has been a volunteer with the Afghan Women's Organization since arrival and at the present runs the Heritage language of the organization.
Abeda Balouch is an active member of the Afghan Community. After graduating from high school, she got enrolled in Literature department of University of Kabul. After two years she left Afghanistan for India. She has served as a host in Balochi language in All India Radio for 18 years. Currently, she is assisting local media in Toronto, and hosts Baluchi TV program talk show. She has previously served at Afghan Women's Organization board and remained an active dedicated volunteer at the organization.