Health at individual and population levels have its own issues and need different approaches. As a medical doctor, the routine was to start from diagnosis, suggest treatment, and follow up (Not always). When I got the chance to work in remote areas of Afghanistan, witnessing unhealthy practices, lack of health awareness, and inadequate and less-effective health centers raised questions in my mind about impact of clinical approach for improving health as a whole. Hence, in order to be able to assist people, not only patients, I needed other set of skills which only a MPH could provide.
Tell us about your background.
I have graduated from Kabul Medical University with M.D. Degree. I also have a certificate in public health/management from Afghan Public Health Institute at Ministry of Public Health.
Tell us about your work experience.
I have worked in two fields: Medicine and Democracy & Governance (Elections as the main component). Starting from working as a domestic observer in 2004 Afghan presidential elections; a volunteer doctor with Afghanistan Association of the Blind; district field coordinator in 2009 presidential elections; physician at Kaisha Healthcare Hospital; in-out-processing physician at DynCorp International; and program officer at Democracy International (DI). I was also member of DI’s fact finding mission to South Africa in 2011 and member of DI’s election observation mission to Egypt in 2014.
What is your favorite thing about Paris?
Frankly, I have not explored it much, but there are many things I like about Paris. I see it as alive history. It is the land of artists and kings. Multiculturalism and diversity are other assets of Paris. My most favorite thing is watching smiling toddlers and children while walking by them.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
Enjoying every moment of life with my family and children. Speaking of the career, there is a saying: “If any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole humanity” so I will be part of those teams which assist in saving lives; either by the name of Ministry of health, WHO, or other international and local organizations. I would like to focus on areas such as health policy, advocacy, and public awareness.
What is your favorite food?
I like all kind of foods, especially Chopan Kebab and Karai. Well, let us exclude cauliflower.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love watching historical and science fiction movies. Besides that, I go to the gym, read history and politics, and spend time with friends.
What do you like/dislike about the MPH so far?
The program covers main areas of public health which we need in our future careers. In addition, professors and practitioners from a number of universities and public health institutions provides us with their academic knowledge and on-job experiences. Most importantly, the diverse and rich academic and cultural background of my classmates offer far more than I expected.
As for the dislike part, I think long contact hours of 9-5 and studying at construction site were two issues which may need attention of the administration.
Which Disney character would you want to be?
I like ‘Sebastian’ the red crab from ‘The Little Mermaid’. His long name, great vocabulary, and panic attacks are fascinating.
What would you do with a million Euros?
Poverty leads to malnutrition and child-labor, and it hurts to see children doing the hardship rather than studying and playing. Unfortunately, this is the case of many households in Afghanistan. With a million Euros (Which is definitely not enough), I will try to improve financial status of some of those families by providing necessary skills like vocational training or financial assistance so their children don’t have to sleep hungry and have the opportunity to go to schools.