Shabana Basij-Rasikh, a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist, is co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan. Basij-Rasikh, co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), writes about the ways the Taliban government is reshaping Afghanistan, the new Afghan diaspora, and girls’ education around the world, among other issues. As the Taliban recaptured Kabul, Basij-Rasikh helped nearly 100 SOLA students, along with many staff and their family members, leave Afghanistan for Rwanda, where they’ve begun a study abroad program and resumed their schooling. She shared this experience in her first column for The Post.
Basij-Rasikh was born and raised in Kabul and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont. While at Middlebury in 2008, she co-founded SOLA. Until August 2021, it prospered in Kabul as Afghanistan’s only boarding school for girls. In 2019, Basij-Rasikh was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list as a social entrepreneur for her work in promoting education for girls.