Dr. Zakira Hekmat

Dr. Zakira Hekmat

Born an internally displaced person in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, Zakira Hekmat completed high school secretly under the Taliban’s first period of control.  After winning a scholarship to study in Türkiye, she eventually qualified as a medical doctor in 2018.  Throughout her medical studies, Dr. Hekmat volunteered with refugee assistance organizations where she recognized a need to advocate for marginalized refugee groups’ rights and access to services.  From a one-room office, she founded the Afghan Refugee Solidarity Association in Türkiye in 2014, where she has since worked tirelessly to advocate for the rights of all refugees and women.  As one of the few female leaders of a refugee-led community organization in Türkiye, she called on the Turkish government and public not to forget and assist those fleeing conflict and persecution, especially after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in the summer of 2021.  Thanks to Dr. Hekmat’s efforts, many Afghans, especially women, girls, and minorities, have received access to refugee protection and asylum.

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