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Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania

Fatima

Fatima's few years of childhood were spent in Iran. When Taliban regime collapsed, she with her family returned to Afghanistan and settled in Kabul. She started blogging when she was 12 years old and by age 15 had already published a few of her pieces on AWWP (Afghan Women Writing Project). Fatima’s older sister and a life-long mentor, Shakila, encouraged her to strongly consider pursuing education in the United States and eventually to apply to AGFAF.


Fatima got accepted to St. Timothy’s School in Maryland as a sophomore and graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma in 2015. One of the highlights of her high school experiences was leading the international club and organizing an annual talent show for international students. The fun, energy, and memories she had during those events helped her become more comfortable embracing her own culture miles away from home. 


Fatima’s commitment to pursue civil engineering at Lafayette College was mainly driven by Afghanistan’s need for a better infrastructure. Gifted by a liberal arts education however, she had the opportunity to explore beyond STEM and realize her passion lies elsewhere. In her 4th year of college, she made the uncommon but brave decision to listen to her heart and change her major from engineering to film and media studies; two majors with very little overlap. She is now filled with purpose, passion and vision as a result.


Fatima has done various internships since she was 15 years old. She was named as one of the most influential bloggers in FilmAnnex which was a social platform brought to Afghanistan by Roya Mahboob; the first Afghan woman on Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World for 2013.  Fatima was featured in NPR, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, Mountain2Mountain, and Humans of Kabul Facebook page for establishing the first all-girl biking club in Kabul. She has worked for Shannon Galpin, an activist for women's rights, to help the Afghan National Cycling Team in Bamiyan to get the supplies they need for practice. Fatima has interned for Afghan Cycles documentary film, TOLO TV and USAID mostly when she is on school break and visiting home for the summers. 


Fatima launched the first STEAM Camp in Afghanistan in 2018 and has since been working on developing and enriching the curriculum. The second round of the camp was held in the summer of 2019. Fatima’s vision for STEAM camp is to explore different ways of learning through field trips, sport, experiments and fun; ones that satisfies one’s soul the most.