Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

SOLA Co-Founder to Speak about Girls’ Education in Afghanistan

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Co-Founder of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA) Shabana Basij-Rasikh will be speaking at Bazarsky Lecture Hall in O’Hare Academic Center at Salve Regina University. The event is co-sponsored by the Pell Center for International Relations and the Office of International Programs.

Photo Credit: Ted x Women
Photo Credit: Ted x Women

Imagine a country where girls must sneak out to go to school, with deadly consequences if they get caught learning: this was Afghanistan under the Taliban and traces of that danger remain today. Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), a boarding school that provides exceptional educational opportunities for a new generation of Afghan women. SOLA places special emphasis on fostering a resourceful learning environment and building a transformative future for women and Afghanistan.

Shabana was born and raised in Kabul, where she began her secondary education at Maryam High School. After finishing high school in Onalaska, WI, through the Youth Exchange & Studies (YES) program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Shabana attended Middlebury College, graduating magna cum laude in International Studies and Women & Gender Studies, and studied Arabic and Islamic law at Alexandria University in Egypt.

During college, she founded HELA, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Afghan women through education. She also raised funds through foundations and public talks across the U.S. to build a high school for girls in her ancestral village, and wells in the outskirts of Kabul to give communities access to clean drinking water. An enthusiast of systemic change and community impact, Shabana was selected as one of Glamour® Magazine’s Top 10 College Women of 2010, and was awarded the Vermont Campus Compact 2011 Kunin Public Award for outstanding public service, effective leadership and community-building. Shabana currently serves as the National Gender Mainstreaming Advisor at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Kabul.


Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Place: Bazarsky Lecture Hall – O’Hare Academic Center

Salve Regina University

Ochre Point Avenue (intersection of Shepard Avenue)

Newport, RI


RSVP to [email protected] or 401-341-2927

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