Mariam HotakiMariam was born in June 1993 in Kabul, Afghanistan, during one of the very critical times in the country’s political history.

She says ” I was born in war and I grew up in war. This is why I am passionate about studying and working for international peace, human’s rights, and global justice.

I am privileged to be raised in a family that has always been supportive of my education. Both my parents have been inspiring figures in my life. My father is a writer, journalist, the founder of Parnian Publications, and one of the leading martial artists in Afghanistan. My mother is a diplomat, writer, and journalist who always managed to take care of us and educate us, despite her busy career path.

In 2008, I graduated from Ferdawsi High School when I was 16 years-old. While in school, I took English classes and volunteered with Save the Children and attended culture and literature events with my parents. I also started my blog, Shahartash, and started writing for 8 Am Daily Newspaper and Warzendagi Weekly magazine soon afterwards.

In 2009, I came to Virginia where some of my family lives. I joined the Northern Virginia Community College and received my Associates Degree in Social Sciences. I also became a Phi Theta Kappa scholar and a NSCS scholar. Afterwards, I received a scholarship to continue my studies at Mount Holyoke College. I am currently a junior majoring in International Relations with a focus on International Peace and Security and a minor in Philosophy. After my undergraduate studies, I plan on going to Law School in hopes of studying International Law.”

“My dream for the International Women’s day is a day when no more women are beaten, tortured, killed, and raped, a day where they don’t have to suffer from systematic forms of misogyny. A day when no women are automatically at a disadvantage just because they were born female. A day when domestic violence, forced marriages, inequality and inequity are parts of history books. A day when women are a part of the public sphere and the political arena, and not just stuck at home. A day when women do not follow what is chosen for them, but when they could make their own decisions, create their own paths, and shape their own lives”.

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