Meet the Team

Zarlasht Sarmast: Project Co-Leader

Zarlasht Sarmast is an independent Afghan filmmaker/photographer/researcher born and raised in Kabul Afghanistan. Zarlasht recently graduated from American University of Central Asia with a degree in International and Comparative Politics. She has previously served as the Spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul, Communications specialist for GIZ in Central Asia, Voice of America in DC, US embassy in Kabul, and many other well-known national and international organizations. She is an active member of Bard Center for Civic Engagement Program in New York and she is the Director and CEO of the project “Afghanistan Politics on the Verge of Transformation”. Zarlasht currently works as a coordinator of Global Engagement Fellows for Open Society University Networks at the American University of Central Asia.

Maryam Yari: Project Member

Maryam Yari is a junior student of Economics department minoring in Business Administration at AUCA. Currently, she works as a Tutor of Economics at Writing and Academic Resources Center (WARC), AUCA. Besides, she is a Peer Advisor of economics courses for freshman students and a head of “Young Leaders’ Association” club. She has previously worked as a member and a team leader in AIESEC Kyrgyzstan. She also served as a mentor and Orientation Leader for New Generation Academy (NGA) students. She received an appreciation certificate for being active both in academic and extra-curricular activities from the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Bishkek-Kyrgyzstan, as well as the Dean’s List award in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement, at AUCA (2018-19).

Maryam Ranjbar: Project Member

Maryam Ranjbar is a senior student at the American University of Central Asia, majoring in International and Comparative Politics and minoring in Human Rights. She is currently in a process of finishing her senior thesis on the topic on UN security councils’ responses to conflicts in Afghanistan. She is an active member of Voices of Afghan Students Project at AUCA. Her previous experiences include working with USAID as a Geographic Information System specialist, working with Agha Khan foundation as an IT manager and Ministry of Border and Tribal affairs as a data collection and analysis officer.

Abdul Walid Azizi: Project Member

Abdul Walid Azizi is a junior student at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), majoring in International and Comparative Politics and minoring in Literature and History. Walid is an Access micro-scholarship alumnus of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He is also the organizer & director of Summer Camp Afghanistan 2018 and 2019.

Hezbullah Shafaq: Project Member

Hezbullah Shafaq is a senior student at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He is the founder and director of New Hopes of Afghanistan Social Association and A Million Smiles for Peace Global Campaign. As a social activist, Shafaq has been engaged in organizing tens of youth supportive projects not merely in Afghanistan but also in India and Kyrgyzstan. His goal for life is to work as a young leader towards enriching the lives of youth and making them capable of dwelling and contributing to the welfare of the community.

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