Khalidha Nasiri is the Executive Director of AYEDI where she is responsible for overseeing the overall operations, management, and success of the group. She has an extensive background working in government, research, and her community of Scarborough. This includes leading a local leadership program for underprivileged youth, working for a federal Finance Minister, serving on grassroots organizations such as Scarborough Transit Action and The Canadian-Muslim Vote, and representing her riding of Scarborough-Guildwood with Equal Voice’s historic 2017 Daughters of the Vote initiative. Khalidha started AYEDI because she strongly believes in the potential for young Afghan-Canadians to become leaders and advocates in their communities.
Khalidha is a medical student at the University of Western Ontario and has a Master’s in Epidemiology from McGill University. Her hobbies including reading non-fiction, Taekwon-do, drinking double doubles, and travelling.
Marjila Yousof is the Vice President of AYEDI where she is responsible for setting the group’s overall strategic objectives and direction, and working with the Executive and Advisory Board to deliver on AYEDI’s mission and vision. Her work to date has been shaped by that which she is most passionate about: improving the economic, social and cultural positions of women and girls, and encouraging the civic engagement of Afghan-Canadian youth. She is driven by a desire to identify and address the many and often times compounded barriers one may face to civic engagement – as a woman, a minority, a young person, and/or an immigrant. As a Policy Consultant, she has worked with YWCA Toronto Girl’s Centre, advocating for government investment in girls. Prior to this, she worked for a Member of Parliament and managed all activities of the Canada-Afghanistan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, including promoting the expansion of positive relations between Canada and Afghanistan, liaising with the Embassy of the Republic of Afghanistan and keeping updated communications with Global Affairs Canada officials on the Afghanistan program. For the past year she has served on AYEDI’s Advisory Board as a Political Engagement and Outreach Advisor.
Marjila earned her Master of Public Policy from the University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University. By leveraging her academic and professional experience she hopes to support the building of a future where the voices of Afghan-Canadian youth are amplified. Marjila strongly believes in AYEDI’s mission and the importance of creating meaningful platforms for knowledge sharing, civic engagement, and advocacy. She is looking forward to bringing her expertise and passion to her new role with AYEDI, and to continue creating spaces for Afghan-Canadian youth to actively engage with and participate in.
Ferozan Nasiri is the Outreach Director of AYEDI where she is responsible for developing and maintain positive relations with community groups and stakeholders. She has been active in local and international communities. She was previously a mentor and project assistant for the First Generation Program at UTSC, has led after-school programs in Scarborough, and recently worked as a teacher in China for one year. Ferozan is involved in AYEDI because she believes that Afghan youth are capable of civic engagement and creating meaningful platforms. Ferozan is an MA Adult Education and Community Development student at OISE and is passionate about being involved in projects that focuses on centralizing narratives of communities in media and the arts. Her interests are photography, archery, traveling to different parts of the world (most recently, Japan!), visiting galleries and museums in different cities, and practicing personal and physical wellness.
Zohal Mirza is the Internal Director of AYEDI where she is responsible for overseeing the logistical aspects of event planning and meetings, and making sure guidelines and procedures are being met. Zohal is an active member of AYEDI because she believes that youth in our communities should have a platform to become leaders. Zohal is a Dental Hygienist and is dedicated to improving the oral health of communities. Her hobbies include working out and reading.
Madina Tabesh is a recent Toronto transplant originally from Vancouver, Canada, by way of Kabul. Her interest lies in the intersection of race and identity, civil rights and civic engagement, social justice, public health, law, justice and concept of morality, writing and the arts, through an intersectional feminist critique of everything mentioned. She is a 2016-17 Global Health Corps fellow, former ACLU New York Community Organizing Institute fellow, Planned Parenthood Toronto SNAP volunteer, avid daydreamer and mantu lover.
Madina graduated in 2014 from Simon Fraser University with a degree in political science and a minor in International Development and has since worked in the non-profit sector. Her skills and experience range from copywriting and editing, grant writing, digital and direct marketing, government lobbying and community organizing.
Veeda Tanwir. I am a Toronto based event coordinator looking to strengthen the Afghan community one event at a time. I have learned power of events while studying event management in college. During my student years I was exposed to events that were influential and had a strong impact on attendees. Since then, I understood the need for educational and skill building events in my local Afghan community. I believe creating events like conferences, workshops, fundraising events etc. can have a positive impact and help our community grow. I look forward to offering my skills and tools to help strengthen, empower and engage our community.