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 research, advocacy, and community organizing. 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. She hopes to break down the barriers that our community encounters in accessing spaces to express our voice and develop into leaders.
Khalidha is a second-year medical student at the University of Western Ontario. She has a Master’s in Epidemiology from McGill University and has interned at the World Health Organization. Her hobbies including reading non-fiction, Taekwon-do, drinking double doubles, and travelling. She writes on her personal blog at www.behindthemd.com.
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. Prior to becoming Vice President, Marjila served on AYEDI’s Advisory Board as a Political Engagement and Outreach Advisor.
Ferozan Nasiri is AYEDI’s Outreach Director 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 has a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE and is passionate about being involved in projects that focuses on centralizing narratives of communities in media and the arts. She currently works as a provincial youth outreach worker. 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.
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