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500 El Camino Real #224 Santa Clara, California 95053
Abdullah Hamidi is an Afghan Relief community outreach coordinator. Sayed is an Afghan youth leader in Sacramento. He is an active community organizer and continues to help provide services to the Afghan community in Sacramento. Sayed is also completing his degree and training in nursing.
Nazir Dawi currently serves as Afghan Relief’s Coordinator for Paktika province. Mr Diwi has devoted much of his life to helping Afghans and has dedicated many years to supporting education projects in Afghanistan. Mr. Diwi is a founding member of Arj Social Organization based in Kabul. He is also the founder of Dawi Private School and Dawi Educational Center in Kabul Afghanistan. In early 2018, Nazir Dawi initiated I Deserve Education in Kabul Afghanistan. This learning program aims to locate street-working children who quit schooling to provide for their families. This initiative helps those children to enroll back in school and makes sure they have food at home. Mohammad Nazir Dawi is a Fulbright graduate student from Afghanistan at the University of Missouri where he studies Public Administration.
Sunita Viswanath is a human rights activist. She is a co-founder of Women for Afghan Women (in 2001), where she previously served for 21 years in the capacity of Board Chair and donor. Women for Afghan Women grew to become the largest Afghan women’s organization with a focus on working with women survivors of domestic violence, women and children in prison, and mediating family conflict.
She also founded Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus (in 2011) and Hindus for Human Rights (in 2019). Ms. Viswanath is a recipient of Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Award (in 2011), a recipient of the White House Champion of Change Award in 2015, and one of Center for American Progress’ 21 “faith leaders to watch” in 2021. Sunita is an advisory board member of Unfreeze Afghanistan and traveled to Afghanistan in March 2022 as part of the American Women’s Delegation for Peace and Education.
Masuda Sultan is an Afghan-American women’s rights activist and entrepreneur who has been working for over 20 years in support of women and girls in education, vocational training and protection from violence. She is a co-founder of Women for Afghan Women (in 2001) where she previously served in the capacity of board member and donor for 21 years. Women for Afghan Women grew to become the largest Afghan women’s organization with a focus on working with women survivors of domestic violence, women and children in prison, and mediating family conflict.
In 2008 Ms. Sultan was appointed as an advisor to the Ministry of Finance in Afghanistan. In 2019 she co-founded All in Peace, a coalition of organizations dedicated to bringing the longest war in American history to a peaceful end. Ms. Sultan currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Women and Foreign Policy Advisory Committee. Her memoir, My War at Home, was published in early 2006 by Simon & Schuster. She has an MPA from Harvard University. Masuda is a cofounder and Executive Director of Unfreeze Afghanistan, and traveled to Afghanistan in March 2022 as part of the American Women’s Delegation for Peace and Education.
Dr. Palwasha Ahad is the Director of Mental Health and Education Programs at Afghan Relief. She is a native of Afghanistan and has long been an advocate for the welfare and mental well-being of Afghans through her philanthropic work.
Dr. Ahad received her Master of Arts as well as Doctorate in Psychology from the Cognitive and Brain Sciences program at the University of Nevada, Reno studying language development, learning, memory, the neurological underpinnings of autism spectrum disorders, auditory and behavioral habituation as well as false memory phenomena. In addition to research, Dr. Ahad has over ten years of teaching experience as a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience.
Ms. Naheed Hasnat is the Director of Finance at Afghan Relief. She is also a member of the Board of Directors. She is a Program Manager who has worked with fortune 500 companies, technology startups and consulting firms to effectively communicate and highlight the value of their unique products and services. Ms. Hasnat is also the author of award-winning books for children and young adults focusing on immigration and refugee communities in the Afghanistan, Middle East and South Asia.
She serves on the board of NISA, an organization that empower victims of domestic violence by providing information, support services, advocacy, counseling and shelter services. Previously she worked with Afghan Friends Network, a non-profit that delivers sustainable programs in education and cultural exchange that nurture potential in Afghan youth.
Ms. Hasnat received her Master of Arts in international affairs from Columbia University and Bachelors in Business from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ziaulhaq Yama is the Director of Programs at Afghan Relief and a member of the Board of Directors. He was born and raised in Afghanistan and has devoted most of his life to assisting the most vulnerable populations in Afghanistan and in the United States. Ziaulhaq is also a Sonographer in the Department of Radiology at Kaiser Permanente and UC Davis Health Center. Prior to that, he was the clinical director at UMI Community Imaging Clinic. In this position, he provided medical assistance to marginalized communities including uninsured patients by providing free-of-cost diagnostic imaging. Ziaulhaq is also the founder and Director of Afghan United Group in Sacramento, California, where he and a team of Afghans provide cultural awareness, health care service, and public awareness services to recently arriving Afghan families. Previously, Ziaulhaq worked as a community mental health specialist for Afghan Care and the Afghan Coalition in Alameda County. Ziaulhaq has been an active community organizer for more than a decade. Ziaulhaq Yama received his ARDMS license from Cosumnes River College. He also received his bachelor’s in medicine from Nangarhar University, Afghanistan.
Dr. Farid Senzai is the founder and president of Afghan Relief and serves on the Board of Directors. He is a native of Afghanistan and is committed to helping the most vulnerable population in his home country. Dr. Senzai is also a professor of political science and international relations at Santa Clara University where he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics. Prior to starting Afghan Relief, Dr. Senzai was the founder and president of the Center for Global Policy (CGP), a think tank in Washington DC that focuses on U.S. relations with the Muslim world.
Dr. Senzai was previously a co-founder and the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), where he conducted extensive research projects on Muslims in America. Prior to that, he was a research associate at the Brookings Institution and a research analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is on the board of advisers at The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a former board member at the Central Asia Institute.
Dr. Senzai received his Master of Arts in international affairs from Columbia University and Ph.D. in politics and international relations from Oxford University.