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Zieba Shorish-Shamley

Zieba Shorish-Shamley is an anthropologist, with a Ph. D. in cultural anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the early 1990s, she taught classes in cultural anthropology to the undergraduate and graduate students at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her specialization within the cultural anthropology includes Medical Anthropology, Symbolic Anthropology, Gender Relations, Refugee Studies, ethnicity, Comparative Religion, Indigenous medicine, and others. She is writing a book entitled Afghan Identities in Diaspora. Her poems that describes the misery of Afghan women and children has been published in various magazines and newspapers all around the world. She is fluent in Persian and English. She has basic knowledge of Pushtu and Arabic languages. She is the cofounder and Executive Director of Women's Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan (WAPHA). In almost 20 years of war that has plagued Afghanistan, she has been involved in activities promoting the cause of her people. Since March 1996 she has become a full time human rights activist for the Afghan people cause with a strong focus on the rights of women and children. She has done research among the Afghan refugees in Pakistan, January 1998, concerning the general condition of the refugees relating to health, education, work, discrimination, security and other issues. She has testified before the United States Congress on the Afghan crisis in 1996, 1997 and 1998. In March 1998 she participated in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings at the United Nations, New York and presented a paper on the human rights violations of the Afghan women and children in Afghanistan and in the refugee camps in Pakistan. Also in March, 1998 she participated and presented a paper on the Afghan crisis at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Preparatory Commission (Prep. Com) at the United Nation, New York. In June/July, 1998 she participated in the Prep. Com meetings of ICC in Rome, Italy. In December, 1998 she joined the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations, New York, where she met with His Excellency Kofi Annan, Ms. Angela King, Assistant Secretary General and Special Adviser to Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and Mrs. Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In February 1999 she participated in the ICC Prep. Com at the United Nations, New York. From March 5-6 Shorish-Shamley participated and presented a paper at the International Women's Human Rights Conference, Vanguard University, Middle East Studies Center, Costa Mesa, Ca. She was awarded the 1999 Humanitarian Award, by the Middle East Studies Center. She also has received a commendation for her humanitarian work from the Feminist Majority Foundation in March 1999. From March 8-12, 1999 she participated at the Commission on the Status Women's (CSW) meetings at the United Nations, New York. On March Shorish-Shamley organized a panel concerning the Human Rights and health status of Afghan women under the Taliban rule. At the panel, representatives of various Afghan women organization presented papers on the issue.

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