MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Almost 30 women from Rwanda and Afghanistan are boarding planes this weekend, heading to America for two weeks of Leadership Development. The excitement of their arrival is palpable. They come to our shores with hopes of blazing a unique trail for other women, one that in most cases has never been seen before in their countries.
The true joy, for us, comes in connecting these students to the professors, mentors, sponsors, and coaches that can alter the path their family and community will take. Benefiting women entrepreneurs in countries scorched by war and genocide is in our blood, and we can’t wait to put this ethos into action for our eleventh consecutive July of women’s empowerment.
If you can be with us this year in Dallas or OKC, you will meet many women with stories and dreams that wow. One of them is Masooma Ibrahimi. Like many in Afghanistan who had to flee the violence Russia and the Taliban left in their wake, Masooma’s family was eventually forced to become refugees to ensure their own safety and stability. She was born in the Daykundi province before the family had to relocate to Iran.
Even though Masooma finished high school in Iran at the top of her class, she was not allowed to go to University. Furthermore, her parents wanted her to marry an Afghan right away. Masooma would not accept her fate. Upon returning to Afghanistan she went to work during the day and began to attend Kabul University at night.
Now married with two young children, Masooma vows to remain independent. “I want to help my family and my people, especially women, and I continue to try to reach higher goals. And I will do it, I know.” Masooma dreams of Arastoo becoming an international entity changing the perception of Afghanistan and shining a light on the incredible talent throughout the country.