Razia's Ray of Hope

Razia’s Ray of Hope News

News about the foundation, girls' education, and women's rights in Afghanistan

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Student Profile: Basya

Afghanistan girls school libraryBasya is 17 years old and in the twelfth grade at the Zabuli Education Center.


She began attending the ZEC in 2009 as a fourth grader. Basya is an intelligent and polite young woman with an appetite for learning; her favorite subjects are Holy Quran and English.


Basya is one of eight children. Her mother is a homemaker and her father is a driver. Her two brothers both graduated from school in Deh-Subz, and her five sisters received differing levels of education. Her two eldest sisters, both of whom are married, did not finish schooling; her eldest sister was never able to go, and her second eldest sister studied until the sixth grade. Soraya, Mehria, and Fareha, Basya’s three younger sisters, all attend the Zabuli Education Center and are in grades nine and ten.


In her spare time, Basya enjoys reading captivating stories and sewing. She hopes to become a doctor when she grows up.

Student Profile: Alya

Alya Student ProfileAlya is an 18-year-old senior at the Zabuli Education Center. She enrolled in 2008 as a fourth grader. 

Alya's family is dealing with many difficulties. Her father is unemployed and her mother is a homemaker. She has two sisters and three brothers. Her eldest sister is unemployed and illiterate; her other sister graduated from school but is also unemployed. Both sisters help their mother at home. Alya's two eldest brothers are illiterate and also jobless. Her youngest brother is a ninth grader at a public school in Deh'Subz.

Ayla is an eager student. She is polite and well-behaved. Her favorite subjects are the Holy Quran and English. She enjoys playing volleyball and sewing traditional Afghan clothing in her spare time.

Alya's greatest wish is for peace and stability across Afghanistan. She wants to become a teacher and serve her village.

Student Profile: Meet Nadera!

Student Profile: Meet Majeeda!

Student Profile: Meet Fatema!

Student Profile: Kamela


Kamela began attending the Zabuli Education Center in the fourth grade in 2009. Now, she is 19 years old and in the twelfth grade. She is calm and well-behaved. Her favorite classes are English and computer. In her spare time, Kamela likes to listen to music and read interesting books.

Kamela has four brothers and four sisters. Her eldest sister is married with four children and her second sister is also married with three children; both of these sisters studied until grade six and then married. Kamela’s third and fourth sisters, Feroza and Reema, study at the Zabili Education Center in grades seven and four.

Kamela’s eldest brother attended school until the eighth grade and is now engaged. Her second brother studied until the tenth grade. Kamela’s third brother and fourth brothers are in grades eleven and ten; both studying at a public school in Deh'Subz.

Kamela wants to become a doctor in the future and to serve her people. Her greatest wishes are for peace and stability all around the world. 

Student Profile: Mahnaz

Mahnaz Student ProfileMahnaz is the youngest of six children. At birth, she weighed just 2 pounds. Mahnaz's mother held the baby girl the palm of her hand — and fed Mahnaz with an eye dropper. As Mahnaz grew, her limbs appeared entangled. She could not use her hands or legs. Before her first birthday, she was diagnosed with polio. Over time, with the love and care of her family, Mahnaz's condition improved. She learned to use her hands, but remained unable to sit or stand.

Afghanistan is not a welcoming place to those with physical abnormalities. In the past, it was commonplace for village children like Mahnaz to be shuttered away at home by parents who were ashamed of having a crippled child. Fortunately for Mahnaz, she was born to sensitive, progressive family.

As the years passed, Mahnaz saw her five older siblings head off to school every day. She wanted to know when she would be able to school. She persistently questioned her parents: "When will I go to school?" It became clear that Mahnaz was undaunted by her physical challenges and was not going to be satisfied by staying at home. But her parents had difficulty imagining how their youngest child would ever be able to attend school like her older siblings.

In 2016, Mahnaz's father carried her into the Zabuli Education Center. He begged us to admit his daughter, who wanted nothing more than the opportunity of education among her peers. Razia Jan shared Mahnaz's parents' determination to provide Mahnaz an education. We admitted Mahnaz, resolving to accommodate her physical needs. With Razia's creativity and inspiration, we built a special desk that supports Mahnaz comfortably while sitting in the classroom, and she quickly became part of our school community.

Today Mahnaz is in the first grade. Her energy and commitment are extraordinary. She struggles just to get to school; someone must carry her from home to the bus; upon arrival at school, one of the other students carries Mahnaz to her classroom. This routine is reversed at the end of the day. Mahnaz doesn't complain; she always has a smile on her face.

Mahnaz dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Our dream is to help Mahanz become everything she wants to be.

When you read about our various goings-on, keep Mahnaz in mind. She is the embodiment of all that we're working to accomplish.

Student Profile: Shabnam


Shabnam is a 19-year-old senior at the Zabuli Education Center. She began at our school in 2008 as a third grader. Shabnam is a very pleasant and well-behaved student. Her favorite subjects are English and Dari. 

Shabnam has three sisters and three brothers. Her two eldest sisters are married; one has six children. Her third sister stays at home to help their mother with domestic work. Shabnam’s father works in a brick factory in Deh’Subz. Two of her brothers are married with children and work as taxi drivers in Deh'Subz. Her third brother studies computer science at a private university.

Shabnam enjoys cooking in her spare time and wants to become a journalist when she finishes school.

Student Profile: Zarafshan

Zarafshan Student Profile

Zarafshan joined the Zabuli Education Center in 2009. She is now in 18 years old and is in the twelfth grade. She is a pleasant, punctual, and driven student. Her favorite subjects include Islamic subjects and biology.

Zarafshan has two sisters and four brothers. Her mother is a homemaker. Zarafshan's eldest brother works in a brick factory, and her second eldest brother is a personal driver for members of parliament. Zarafshan’s youngest brothers attend public school in Deh’Subz. Her sisters used to attend school but are now married with children.

Zarafshan wants to become a teacher when she finishes school. She enjoys reciting the Holy Quran and reading in her spare time. 

Student Profile: Aseena

Assena Student ProfileAseena is a 17-year-old student at the Zabuli Education Center. She started attending our school in 2008, and is now in grade 12. Aseena is a polite, intelligent, and well-behaved student. Her favorite classes are English, biology, and math. 

Aseena has five brothers and her mother is a homemaker. Four of her brothers attend public school in the second, fifth, and ninth grades.

In her spare time, Aseena likes to work on her computer skills. She wants to becomes a doctor when she grows up in order to serve her homeland and people.