Soomaya Javadi is a young Hazara activist who fled Afghanistan following the overthrow of Kabul in 2021 through the initiative of the 30Birds Foundation.
With the return of the Taliban, Javadi’s future as a dentistry student and a woman in Afghanistan was in peril. Her Hazara ethnicity further jeopardized her fate, belonging to one of the most targeted ethnic groups in the country and one historically persecuted by the Taliban during their initial rule in 1996.
Facing looming oppression, Javadi made the difficult decision to depart her homeland, one that carried immense danger and uncertainty. Racing to reach Pakistan, she and her family embarked on a nail-biting journey, forced to pass through various Taliban checkpoints.
In October 2021, Javadi and her family quickly resettled from Pakistan to Saskatoon, Canada with the first group of Afghan refugees brought by the 30Birds Foundation, an organization that successfully evacuated over 450 Afghans to safety from Kabul.
While Javadi left Afghanistan, she never abandoned her people. She continues to advocate against the intersectional racial and gender-based discrimination of Hazara women in Afghanistan and has taken part in numerous rallies and initiatives in the #StopHazaraGenocide movement. She has also begun rebuilding her life, working as an early childhood educator supporting refugee children and becoming a full-time student in the Biomedical Foundation Program at the University of Saskatoon.
Javadi’s courage and activism drew the recognition of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who invited her to meet him in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, in May 2022.