About AWO

Asma Faizi, President

Asma Faizi has a Master of Science in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto. She is currently Head of Legal Affairs at Access Copyright – a not-for-profit organization that represents tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works. Through agreements with sister organizations around the world, Access Copyright also represents the works of hundreds of thousands of foreign creators and publishers. Asma has also been advocating on behalf of Afghan women for over twenty years, in Canada, and internationally, on human rights issues.

Beheshta Jaghori, Vice President

Beheshta is a PhD. Candidate in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Her doctoral research, funded by SSHRC, examines the intergenerational effects of war among Afghan-Canadian Youth. Beheshta has formal training in evidence-based psychotherapy approaches, and she has experience dealing with a range of psychological difficulties and diverse clientele.  Beheshta is currently a clinical associate at the New Leaf Psychology Centre in Milton. Her non-academic pursuits include working with charitable organizations on mental health awareness and human rights issues.

Huria Jalalzai, Treasurer

Huria has a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. She is currently working as a Senior Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and since 2008 has worked in other ministries for both the provincial and federal government. In 2012, Huria travelled to Kabul, Afghanistan to support the Master’s degree program in Public Policy & Administration implemented by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of Massachusetts through the Afghanistan Higher Education Project. This experience strengthened her conviction that little things make a big difference and she strives to stay active with her community here in Toronto and abroad in order to bring about positive change.

Mina Saboor, Secretary

Mina Saboor is a senior policy advisor for the Ontario government and has experience working in both the public and not-for-profit sectors. She obtained a bilingual Master’s degree in Public & International Affairs from York University. After completing her Hons. BA in Political Science, Mina worked in New Delhi with a local non-governmental organization that serves abandoned children and young women in pursuit of higher education. This front-line experience of serving members of civil society inspired her to be a life-long active member of the global community, and in particular, the Afghan-Canadian community in the GTHA. Her appreciation for cultural diversity in Canada is evident in her ability to communicate in multiple languages, including French.

Sheba Sheranze

Sheba’s work experience includes working in the financial industry and the public sector. She completed her Bachelor’s of Business Administration with specialization in finance from University of Toronto in 2008. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Her work experience includes several positions within the federal government. She is currently a financial analyst with the Employment Social Development of Canada. Sheba is fluent in English, Farsi, Hindi, Baluchi & Dari.

Najeeba Shairzay

Najeeba is a formal teacher, was the founder and the principal of Hazrat-e-Bibi Aisha school for girls. She organized various extracurricular activities for after school hours and during the summer holiday; e.g., sewing, English courses, rug weaving, bead sewing, literacy courses, calligraphy, and much more. Najeeba has volunteered for various organizations, including Senior Link, Afghan Women’s Organization, and many others. Najeeba is the mother of one son and two daughters.

Hakema Mashal Sidiqi

Hakema is the mother of five children. She holds a degree in Literature from Kabul University and has worked as a teacher at a girls’ high school. During the war her family moved to Mazar-e-sharif in the Northern part of Afghanistan where she worked for CFDO (Community For Development Organization) one of United Nation’s support organizations assisting communities, especially women.  She continued her work during the time when the Taliban where in power. After September 11, 2001, she worked with several nongovernmental organizations including UNICEF and UN Habitat.  She also worked with the Ministry of Education, the Constitution Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.

Kobra Rasul

Kobra was first introduced to Afghan Women’s Organization as a client in 1989 when she came as a refugee to Canada.  She is a busy mother of four children. Kobra is a good role model for other refugees. She raised well-educated children who contribute positively to Canadian society. Kobra has volunteered extensively in the newcomer community and particularly with the AWO assisting in the organization of events and conferences. She is a well-trained and established member of the catering group and a role model for newcomer women.

Liza Rahmat

Abeda Baluch

Abeda is an active member of the Afghan Community. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in the Literature department of University of Kabul. After two years she left Afghanistan for India. She has served as a Balochi language host on All India Radio for 18 years. Currently, she is assisting local media in Toronto, and hosts a Baluchi TV talk show. She has previously served the AWO Board and remained an active, dedicated volunteer at the organization.