Shabana was born and raised in Kabul. She grew up under the rule of the Taleban, when education was banned for women and like many other girls, she had to dress as a boy to attend a secret school.
Her passion for education lead Shabana to start School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), the first boarding school for girls in Afghanistan. In addition to her work as the president of the school, Shabana is a fierce advocate for girls’ education. She has spoken at global platforms to encourage investment in education as a means for progress and peacebuilding.
For her advocacy and her service to education, Shabana recently received the esteemed Malalai Medal from President Ashraf Ghani and First Lady Rula Ghani. In 2010, she was named one of Glamour Magazine‘s Top Ten College Women. In 2014, she was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. Shabana is a Global Ambassador for 10×10: The Girls Education Project.