Noorjahan Akbar was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her parents, both educators, brought her up with deep love and appreciation for literature and writing. They instilled within her a commitment to social activism for shaping an egalitarian and progressive Afghanistan. She learned English and basic computer skills when her family moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, after the Taliban entered Afghanistan.
In 2001, the family returned to Afghanistan and opened an English teaching center for about 400 women in Kabul. Since then, Akbar has worked with several women’s rights organizations in the country and abroad. In the summer of 2013, Akbar published a collection of Afghan women’s writings in a book that was distributed in several provinces in Afghanistan.
Akbar has a bachelor's in sociology from Dickinson College and a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University. She edits a national blog with more than 80 Afghan contributors who advocate for gender equality and social justice. Akbar has been recognized for her efforts for gender equality at home and internationally. She was Glamour Magazine's College Woman of the Year in 2013 and was named one of Forbes's 100 Most Powerful Women of the World and one of The Daily Beast's Women Who Shake the World.
Stories written by Noorjahan Akbar
- Afghan activists live unconventional lives (October 13th, 2015)