SPEAKERS

Abdul Bashir Shor is Head of Rural Development Programs for the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), and has been working in quality education, dialogue and conflict transformation, disaster risk reduction and food security in rural and hard to reach communities for more than 9 years. He has courses in Orientation and mobility for visually impaired people from German Jordanian University and Program Cycle Management from Ruhr university Bochum Germany in cooperation with APPRO in Afghanistan. He is currently in his last year of studies in Law and Political Science.

Abdul Ghafar Rahmati is the Head of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee’s Regional Office in Ghazni City. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pune University, India, and is currently, studying for an MBA at MDU University, India.

Arne Strand has a PhD in Post-war Recovery Studies through which he studied coordination of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies. His research focuses on aid coordination, forced migration and reintegration, peace building and security sector reform and humanitarian and development assistance.

Strand has been team leader of several evaluations and research programmes in and on Afghanistan. He has extensive management experience from NGOs and research institutes, and has also been involved in developing management and professional capacities of Afghan NGOs and peacebuilding organisations.

Ashley Jackson is the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute. She has over a decade of experience working on the ground in conflicts and crises, and she has published widely on humanitarian negotiations and armed groups. She has worked extensively in and on Afghanistan, and on engagement with the Taliban. Prior to her research and academic career, she worked as an aid worker and diplomat with Oxfam, the Red Cross, and the UN in Afghanistan, Indonesia and elsewhere. She holds an MA from the London School of Economics and a PhD from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Emerita Astri Suhrke is a political scientist focusing on the social, political, and humanitarian consequences of violent conflict, and strategies of response. She has for worked for decades on strategies of post-war reconstruction and state building, with particular focus on Afghanistan. Her most recent book is When More is Less: The International Project in Afghanistan (2011).

Aziz Rafiee is the Executive Director of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, and has contributed to civil society development in Afghanistan through more than 23 years of active work and engagement. He has worked with a wide range of civil society stakeholders including social, human rights and cultural organizations as well as NGOs and associations. He has been the founding member of more than 12 civil society organizations who are contributing to Afghanistan’s democratic development processes.

Ehsanullah Zahir is Head of Programs for the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee’s (NAC) at the north-eastern regional office in Badakhshan, working with civil society, governance, dialogue and conflict transformation, education, & food security. He is educated in both health and political sciences and been awarded a one-year fellowship program on leadership for change with the Swedish Institute’s Leader Lab.  He is also been trained on dialogue and conflict transformation and facilitation by the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue, in Lillehammer Norway.

Emran Feroz is an independent journalist and the Founder of Drone Memorial, a virtual memorial for civilian drone strike victims. His work has appeared with the New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, The Hindu, Alternet and several other media outlets. He is also a regular contributor to German-language newspapers and magazines.

Hadi Marafat is the Executive Director of the Afghan Center for Memory and Dialogue. He holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations from London’s School of Economics and Political Science. He has worked as a human rights defender with various national and international organisations, including Save the Children, the Joint Electoral Management office, United Nations Human Rights, the Human Rights Watch and Centre for Civilians in Conflict. He is a representative of the Afghanistan Transitional Justice Group to the International Criminal Court.

Hasina Shirzad is a journalist living in Oslo, Norway. She holds a Bachelors from the University of Kabul. She has worked as a communications advisor for Afghanistan’s electoral committee, with UNESCO in Kabul, and the Afghan journalism team and for Khurshid-TV. After she was injured by a car bomb, she left Afghanistan for Norway in 2015. In Norway she has worked with Dagbladet, NOAS and Journalism Media International Centre. She is engaged with Norwegian and international media and has written for The Guardian, Aftenposten and Dagbladet. She is studying for a Masters of Journalism at Oslo Metropolitan University.

Ibrahim Afridi is the co-founder and Managing Director of Together We Build It – Norway, a non-profit organization working to promote and advocate for the important role women and youth play in building peace and security in war-torn countries such as Libya and Afghanistan. Afridi is a board member of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association Oslo. He is also volunteer at the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC). Afridi’s academic background is from Political Science and International Relations, and wrote his master thesis on Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan with special focus on the creation of local forces and its influence on the security situation in the country.

Jamila Afghani is an activist for women’s rights and education in Afghanistan. She is the executive director of Medica Afghanistan, and president the Afghan section of the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom. She is an executive member of the umbrella organization, Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) and part of the non-governmental delegation selected to meet Taliban negotiators in Doha in June 2019.

Kai Eide is a Norwegian diplomat, writer, and analyst. He served as the UN Special Representative to Afghanistan from March 2008 to March 2010. He was previously the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General in Kosovo (2005) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Bosnia & Herzegovina (1997–1998). His numerous postings include Ambassador to NATO, and to the OSCE. He published the book Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: An Inside Look at What Went Wrong – and What We Can Do to Repair the Damage (Skyhorse, 2012).

Khadija Safi is a gynaecologist, and Senior Health Officer with the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC). She has conducted dialogue and conflict transformation trainings for students, teachers, medical staff and health institutions throughout Afghanistan since 2010.

Kristian Berg Harpviken is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is a long-time student of Afghanistan and the surrounding region, a frequent media commentator, and lectures regularly to both scholarly and popular audiences. He is author of Social Networks and Migration in Wartime Afghanistan (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009), and (with Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh), A Rock Between Hard Places: Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity (Hurst, 2016).

Liv Kjølseth is a Political Scientist, with a postgraduate degree from the University of Oslo, with a specialisation in International Relations. For the last decade she has held the position of Secretary General of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC). Prior to joining NAC, she was Information and Advocacy Adviser for the Norwegian Council for the Rights of the Kurdish People. She has previously worked for the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration (UDI).

Prof. Lutforahman Saeed is an Assistant Professor at the Sharia (Islamic Law) School at Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Kabul University Faculty of Islamic Law (BA 1991) and the University of Washington School of Law (LLM 2010). He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. He specializes in Islamic Studies, Philosophy, and Comparative Religions.

Mujib Mashal is the New York Times (NYT) senior correspondent in Afghanistan. Before joining the paper, he wrote for magazines such as The Atlantic, Harper’s, Time and others. He began his journalism career as an intern with NYT’s bureau in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2010, before moving on to work for Al Jazeera English in Doha and later pursue magazine writing. He returned to NYT as a senior correspondent in October 2016. Born in Kabul, he received a degree in history from Columbia University.

Norunn Grande is currently the acting Director of the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue (NCPD), developing and providing training courses in conflict transformation and dialogue facilitation. She is a political scientist, a mediator for the Norwegian Mediation and Reconciliation Service and a member of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee’s (NAC) program committee.

Dr. Romain Malejacq is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM) at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. His research focuses on the emergence of political order and governance in conflict environments, including the nature of alternative power structures in civil war. His book, Warlord Survival: The Delusion of State Building in Afghanistan, was published in December 2019.

Siavash Rahbari is the HQ Program Lead for Afghanistan at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) where he works on access to justice and professional capacity development in the criminal justice sector. Previously, he has worked on criminal law and legal education issues with The Asia Foundation, Open Society Foundation Afghanistan, and the International Legal Foundation. He holds a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.

Samiullah Hamidee, Founder and President of The Organization for Social and Economic Development (OSED), is a civil activist from Helmand Province. He also directs a Practical Legal Education and Legal Aid program and is founder of the first fully functional law clinic and legal aid facility in Helmand province. His works include peacebuilding, regional connectivity/cooperation, anti-corruption reforms and employment generation in Southwest Afghanistan. His contribution to the development of the Civil Society Mechanism for Peace (CSM-Peace) has been recognized as integral. He fulfils a critical role in the Civil Society Consultative Board for Peace (CCB-Peace) where he leads the Technical and Advocacy working group. His organization runs the newly created Journal for Peace Studies and the Journal of Regional Connectivity Studies.

Terje Magnussønn Watterdal is an economist, and an education and disability rights activist. He is currently based in Kabul as the Country Director for the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC). He has previously worked as education advisor for governments in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and senior expert for different UN agencies in Afghanistan and elsewhere in Asia. He holds postgraduate degrees from University of Mannheim, Germany and University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Dr. Torunn Wimpelmann is a Senior Researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) where she is currently the Co-director of the research project New Afghan Men, which explores the changing notions of marriage and masculinity in Afghanistan. She is the author of, The Pitfalls of Protection: Gender, Violence and Power in Afghanistan (University of California Press, 2017).

Yasir Ghulami is a political scientist and wrote his Master’s thesis on the Taliban’s military collapse in 2001. Yasir did field work in Kabul, where he interviewed Mullah Raketti, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Mohaqeq, the Taliban’s former education minister. He has worked at the Afghan Embassy in Oslo, with the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee and is now working on resettlement and integration of refugees in Oslo municipality.

Wahida Ghorob is the Coordinator of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee’s, provincial office in Faryab. She is master trainer in Peace and Conflict Transformation with more than five-years of work experience in social & institutional development including related to education, gender, and civil society in Afghanistan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences.

H.E. Mr. Youssof Ghafoorzai, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Norway, Denmark and Iceland, is a career diplomat with extensive expertise in international peace and security, post-conflict stabilization, and multilateral institutions. He spent a significant part of his 15 year long career as member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which includes ten years at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York, as a Second Secretary (2006-2008); and Counselor (2010-2014; 2016-2019), where he has led Afghanistan’s peace and security mandate, especially at the UN Security Council.