2013 Fellows



  • Asad Mustafa Kahlon
    Asad Mustafa Kahlon

    Asad Mustafa Kahlon

    Asad is a Lahore-based social entrepreneur and minority rights activist fighting injustice. After receiving an MBA in marketing from Karachi’s Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Asad passed up lucrative corporate opportunities to rebuild a primary school in Lahore. Garrison Grammar School, now enrolling 225 children, provides education primarily to underprivileged kids and specifically recruits otherwise disadvantaged minorities. Despite limited resources, Asad created a thriving educational community that fosters creativity, analytical thinking, and inclusion. Asad vocally confronts intolerance against minorities in Pakistan. He leverages social media and his personal blog to speak as a minority rights advocate. In the future, Asad hopes to build several primary schools in Lahore using the United States charter school model and plans to explore documentary filmmaking to further highlight social injustice and disparity in Pakistan.

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    Asad Mustafa Kahlon

    A pacifist grappling with intolerence in society by leveraging the realm of education and cyber space Read more
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  • headshot Faryal Ahmed
    headshot Faryal Ahmed

    Faryal Ahmed

    Faryal is an activist connecting youth to productive channels of change. She has worked in several capacities to address socio-economic issues, poverty, development, and vulnerability tied to Pakistan’s youth. Most recently, she graduated from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) with a masters in economics and joined the Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP), a country-wide policy analysis and capacity-strengthening program that was launched at the request of the Government of Pakistan. Previously, she was a consultant at a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Planning Commission of Pakistan where she helped frame Youth and Community Engagement, a core pillar of the New Growth Framework of Pakistan (NGF). Under this umbrella, she initiated the first ever nationwide youth documentary competition to bring youth voices to policymakers. Faryal believes in Pakistan’s youth and feels that the greatest challenge facing the future of Pakistan will be engaging the youth bulge in productive activities. She aims to play her part in overcoming this challenge by lobbying for a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan that provides entrepreneurs with the resources they need and an environment that is conducive for their success.

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    Faryal Ahmed

    Rallying for a strong ecosystem for young entrepreneurs in Pakistan through research and advocacy Read more
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  • Ghulam Murtaza Khoso
    Ghulam Murtaza Khoso

    Ghulam Murtaza Khoso

    Murtaza is an educator, political scientist, and an academic who hails from Johi, a small town in interior Sindh. He graduated from the University of Sindh with a B.A. (Honors) in 2003 and M.A. in 2004 in International Relations and was conferred a Gold Medal by the University of Sindh for his outstanding contribution to his field. Murtaza is currently on the faculty at his alma mater, where his teaching and research lie at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics. He has presented research papers in both domestic and international conferences and is conducting research on Pakistan’s geopolitical situation, federal integration of Pakistan, and internal threats facing Pakistan. Murtaza has actively organized programs for uplifting others from his native area, including initiating a scholarship program, Bazmal Scholar Fund, which provides scholarships for undergraduate education to poor students from the arid Dadu district that borders Balochistan. Murtaza also initiated campaigns for education at the community level. Looking forward, he hopes to strengthen people-to-people ties between Pakistan and other countries, namely India and the United States, by establishing new think tanks and non-governmental forums to foster the flow of knowledge between Pakistan and the outside world.

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    Ghulam Murtaza Khoso

    Dismantling the legacy of educational deprivation in rural Pakistan Read more
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  • headshot Gulalai Jogezai
    headshot Gulalai Jogezai

    Gulalai Jogezai

    Gulalai, from a Pashtun tribal family of Loralai, Balochistan, is striving to bridge the gap between women and education. Despite belonging to an area of limited opportunities, especially for women, Gulalai paved a path for herself through academic excellence and family support. She obtained a bachelors degree with distinction, a masters in economics, and is currently pursuing a masters in development studies from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). Gulalai spearheaded the opening of an all-girls school in Loralai, implementing a pay-to-learn model where students are given a daily stipend to attend school. Though funds fell short after three years of serving the community, many parents enrolled their girls in other schools to continue their education. While she hopes to one day reopen her school, Gulalai can already measure her success through changed mindsets. Convinced that one who has “walked on a hurdled road can clear the way for others,” she aims to ameliorate opportunities for education in Balochistan and not only empower women but also help them be recognized as assets of society.

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    Gulalai Jogezai

    Enlivening Pakistan's future by encouraging, educating, and empowering underprivileged women Read more
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  • Huda Ahmed
    Huda Ahmed

    Huda Ahmed

    Born and raised in Karachi, Huda left her career as a dentist in 2011 to pursue her lifelong passion of educating the less privileged. She took this huge leap after she initiated a relief drive during the devastating floods of 2010, but then could not return to the boundaries of her own social circle. She joined the first cohort of Teach For Pakistan, and taught in an under-resourced public school in Sultanabad. After the two year fellowship, Huda continued to work with non-profit organizations like Reading Room Project and Alif Ailaan trying to understand the education crisis better. She also volunteered with The Citizens Foundation as a Rahbar, and was nominated by A World at School as a Global Youth Ambassador. In September 2014, she joined AAP Trust (aaptrust.org), an organization which provides academic, emotional and financial support to highly motivated and deserving students from less privileged backgrounds, with an aim of getting these students enrolled in some of the top tier universities of the country. She rebuilt this organization from ground up, and continues to lead it to new heights.

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    Huda Ahmed

    Empowering individuals by advocating for the right to quality education Read more
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  • headshot Humaira Bachal
    headshot Humaira Bachal

    Humaira Bachal

    Humaira is an education advocate striving to change the attitude of people who are against women’s education, despite opposition and threats from many community elders, including her father. Humaira is the first girl child from her family to be educated and began championing this right to education in her hometown, Muwach Goth, a marginalized community on the outskirts of Karachi. At the age of 12, Humaira started classes for underprivileged children in her neighborhood, which later grew into the Dream Model Street School where 1,200 students are currently enrolled. She also founded the Dream Foundation Trust which offers separate adult literacy classes for men and women. Recognized by the Women in the World Foundation as one of five “Bravest Women on Earth,” Humaira convenes community leaders and elders to challenge biases and archaic thinking about women’s education through conversation. She was awarded the 2013 Women of Impact Award at the 4th Annual Women of the World Summit and her efforts attracted the attention of Chime for Change and Madonna, who pledged to support girls’ education in Pakistan. “Humaira: The Dream Catcher”, a documentary film produced by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, captures Humaira’s voice and brings it to the outside world. Through her work in the classroom and in the community, Humaira is tackling Pakistan’s education problem at every level. Looking forward, she hopes to build schools in neighboring communities in addition to inspiring more children, especially girls, to seek education, be empowered, and know their rights so they can defend themselves.

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    Humaira Bachal

    A passionate and committed crusader for education Read more
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  • Headshot Iqra Rehman 3
    Headshot Iqra Rehman 3

    Iqra Rehman

    Iqra comes from Mianwali, where she founded the Mianwali Institute of Language and Learning. She teaches English language skills to girls from rural areas and counsels them to realize their abilities and to better utilize available resources. Iqra is currently based in Islamabad, pursuing her bachelors in English language and literature. Hailing from a tribal culture where she does not agree with all the customs and does not practice all of them, Iqra encountered criticism but expressed her disagreements through creative writing. She finds solace in writing poetry and published her English poetry collection “Reflections” in 2010, which was later assigned as required reading for graduate students at New York University. She was selected to attend the 2014 World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, where she participated in the ‘marginalized group,’ sharing her experience of living in a marginalized society. She plans to start her career as a professor and writer, in addition to expanding her social work and continuing to inspire young girls.She plans to start her career as a professor and writer, in addition to expanding her social work and continuing to inspire young girls.

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    Iqra Rehman

    Tackling cultural norms and inspiring youth to express their talents Read more
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  • Kamran Bhatti
    Kamran Bhatti

    Kamran Bhatti

    Residing in Khushpur, a renowned Christian village, Kamran is a peace builder, motivational speaker, and science teacher. He is the founder and director of Health and Education Association for Rural Transformation (HEART), a grassroots organization that promotes health, education, and well-being of the poor in rural communities. In addition to conducting seminars and training sessions on social entrepreneurship, peace education, social harmony, capacity building of youth, and conflict resolution, Kamran is a youth leader with Christian Study Centre (CSC), a peace ambassador and focal person with Youth Engagement Services (YES) Network Pakistan, and a volunteer with the Organization for Community Development (OCD) focused on task based projects. He received his masters in Political Science from University of the Punjab and is trained as a peace and human rights activist from the National Commission for Justice and Peace. Surrounded by elements of discrimination and religious hatred, Kamran’s ultimate goal is to form a peaceful and prosperous society based on the co-existence of individuals as equally valued citizens of the state, with mutual understanding and respect for one another.

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    Kamran Bhatti

    Building bridges of cooperation, acceptance, mutual respect, and human values for a genuinely peaceful Pakistan Read more
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  • Lal Jan Afridi
    Lal Jan Afridi

    Lal Jan Afridi

    A young development practitioner and human rights defender, Lal Jan Afridi belongs to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). Lal Jan conceptualized and helped launch SAWERA, the first women-led organization in the tribal areas of Pakistan dedicated to social and economic development for women, and currently serves as its technical adviser for monitoring & evaluation (the acronym also means Dawn in Urdu). He designs and implements innovative projects in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to involve women in the development process and ensure their long term economic empowerment by providing them with education, skills, and opportunities. In one of his proudest accomplishments, Lal Jan established an information technology center for women in FATA, which has trained 90 women. Alongside SAWERA, Lal Jan regularly organizes youth action groups that create social action plans to address local issues. His mobilization efforts enable youth to know their basic rights and ensure long term community development. Despite facing many challenges in his life, including the bombing of SAWERA’s office, Lal Jan possesses resolute commitment to the underserved and underdeveloped parts of his community. In the future, he hopes to continue to empower women and promote peacebuilding through trainings in FATA.

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    Lal Jan Afridi

    Undertaking initiatives for peace, development, and human rights Read more
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  • headshot Nadeh Alee
    headshot Nadeh Alee

    Nadeh Ali Mir

    Nadeh Ali is a community organizer and visionary from Peshawar. After graduating from the Institute of Management Sciences with a Finance degree, he concentrated his efforts on the youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Using his interpersonal and public relations skills, he launched Peshawar Youth Organization (PYO), which works for the betterment of the youth of his city and province. The organization champions social causes, while harnessing the potential and development of the province’s youth. In only two years, PYO arranged more than 100 social events promoting different causes such as peace building, post-flood activities, environmental advocacy, and relief efforts for internally displaced persons (IDP). For his tireless work, he received the Provincial Youth Award (2009) from Governor Awais Ahmed Ghani, Active Youth Citizen Award (2011) from the US Consul General, and the Azm Award (2012) from Shaukat Tarin, former finance minister of Pakistan, and Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman Shami, a renowned Pakistani journalist. Nadeh then served as the Country Director of the Peshawar School for Peace and most recently joined the State Bank of Pakistan.

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    Nadeh Ali Mir

    Unlocking the potential of youth and promoting awareness to help them define their role in society Read more
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  • headshot Najwat Rehman
    headshot Najwat Rehman

    Najwat Rehman

    Najwat is a design entrepreneur who graduated from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. Paving a largely untraveled path, he founded and launched Pakistan’s first design magazine, The Desi Design. Apart from promoting and critiquing various aspects of creative work emanating from Pakistan, the publication’s broader objective is to encourage readers to appreciate design, beyond its aesthetics, as a way to solve problems. One of the landmark projects Najwat worked on was A New Way to Vote, a proposition for a modern, foolproof electoral system, designed during Pakistan’s landmark general elections of 2013 which provoked allegations of corruption. A tireless entrepreneur, Najwat is spearheading several other design and technology projects; one is a social venture that addresses civilian security and another focuses on celebrating Pakistan’s indigenous visual heritage. Najwat is a creative changemaker who realized his true calling and harnessed it to produce positive change in the lives of others. He believes that access to technology, knowledge, and communication, combined with brilliant ideas and commitment from the general public, can change his country for the better.

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    Najwat Rehman

    Promoting design and technology to create innovative new solutions for persistent old problems Read more
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  • headshot Raja Banaras
    headshot Raja Banaras

    Raja Banaras

    A passionate humanitarian worker who was born and raised in a less privileged and disaster-prone district of Pakistani Administered Kashmir (AJ&K), Raja has actively engaged with local communities to address food insecurity faced by those affected by poverty and disasters. He has eight years of experience in community building, and managing development and relief programs. Upon receiving his masters degree in economics from the University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, he joined Islamic Relief Worldwide as a reporting officer. He later moved on to Relief International where he implemented a community livelihood rehabilitation plan as well as a bio-security project. Currently, Raja is a program assistant working on monitoring and evaluation with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and is playing a key role in combating acute malnutrition, which is highly concentrated in AJ&K. Raja is also a vibrant member of the Pakistan Scouts Association and a member of the International Youth Council. In his eyes, Pakistan is not a poor country; it’s a poorly governed country. He therefore launched “Hope for Pakistan,” a network of youth that aims to address key issues in his area through volunteering their services to strive for the betterment of Pakistan.

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    Raja Banaras

    Community builder helping those affected by poverty and disasters Read more
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  • Roohullah Gulzari
    Roohullah Gulzari

    Roohullah Gulzari

    Originally from Quetta, Balochistan, Roohullah is a prominent leader of the Hazara community, a systematically persecuted Shia minority group in Pakistan, and is a social activist who has been vocal for the rights of minorities and voiceless communities in Lahore and other parts of Pakistan. For the past several years, he has been actively involved with Ummat, a Quetta-based cultural and educational NGO, where he promotes awareness in his community through teaching, conducting seminars, and leading workshops. In 2012, Roohullah organized the first ever Hazara Youth Conference in Quetta to create socio-political awareness for the Hazara community. In addition to his human rights activism for vulnerable and marginalized communities in Pakistan, he is a renowned Parliamentary debater in Pakistan’s debating circuit, having won 4 All-Pakistan parliamentary debate competitions. He graduated from the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, where he studied mechanical engineering. He is the co-founder and national media coordinator of a Lahore-based youth movement Amal, working for a democratic, pluralistic, inclusive, and tolerant Pakistan through grass roots social activism and campaigns. Currently, he is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Youth Development Foundation in Lahore.seminars, and leading workshops. In 2012, Roohullah organized the first ever Hazara Youth Conference in Quetta to create socio-political awareness for the Hazara community. In addition to his human rights activism for vulnerable and marginalized communities in Pakistan, he is a renowned Parliamentary debater in Pakistan’s debating circuit, having won 4 All-Pakistan parliamentary debate competitions. He recently graduated from the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, where he studied mechanical engineering. Currently, he is the co-founder and national media coordinator of a Lahore-based youth movement Amal, working for a democratic, pluralistic, inclusive, and tolerant Pakistan through grass roots social activism and campaigns.

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    Roohullah Gulzari

    Human rights activist campaigning for democracy, inclusivity, and minority rights and against radicalization Read more
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  • headshot 2 Sobia Khan
    headshot 2 Sobia Khan

    Sobia Khan

    Sobia is from Dera Ismail Khan, a rural district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that borders the tribal region of North Waziristan. In 2008, she established a community based organization, Support Humanity Organization, which works for women’s empowerment and advocacy through different channels. Her vocational education training center teaches women from remote areas skills such as sewing and embroidery. Recognizing the importance of education in her overlooked region, she also conducts free English language classes for students of government institutions to improve their proficiency and compete for university admissions. An environmentalist by profession and social entrepreneur by passion, Sobia is also busy improving community livelihood through natural resource management and agriculture development. She introduced a bio diesel plant (jatropha circus) to farmers, which can be used as an alternate energy resource to improve the economic well-being of the farming community. She often finds it extremely difficult to work in the region, especially for women, due to cultural constraints and hazardous security issues inflicted by religious hardliners and outlaws. Despite these challenges, Sobia’s efforts have given a voice to the women of this conflict stricken area.

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    Sobia Khan

    Improving socioeconomic conditions of a marginalized group of society in a culturally conservative area Read more
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