Maria Muhib: The Audacity of Courageous Dreams
Maria Muhib is currently living in the Falls Church area in Virginia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pashto Linguistics and Literature from Kabul University.
She started a master’s degree in International Relations, but unfortunately, due to her sudden departure from Kabul, it is a dream to be fulfilled.
Ms. Muhib was born in Kabul and has always aspired to become an influential woman leader in the future. During her high school time, Ms. Muhib admired Shukria Barakzai, a former member of the Afghan parliament and Afghanistan’s ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands. She says, “I admire her courage and bravery and, to date, continue to follow her as my role model.“
Ms. Muhib learned that the best way to become an influential woman would be to be a frontline activist. She found passion in journalism as the best window of possibility. It was a time when Afghanistan media was opening and providing incredible growth opportunities for young and aspiring female journalists. For Ms. Muhib, it was the moment that her time had come.
She says, “I landed one of my dream jobs at the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during my bachelor’s studies.” The Bureau would dispatch her to cover press conferences at the Presidential Palace. She had incredible confidence that continues to drive her journey and influence. Then she moved to the BBC Radio and regularly covered presidential visits and press conferences of foreign dignitaries and heads of state to Afghanistan. Ms. Muhib says, “I was thrilled to speak truth to power.”
As a young woman, Ms. Muhib realized her chance to make her mark as a journalist was through public service. She started working as a Reporter at the Presidential Palace and then Cultural Adviser at the Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs. Lately, she worked as a Media and Government Relationship Expert at the Office of the First Vice President until the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
With her audacity as a young journalist, for Ms. Muhib, it was too risky to continue working as an independent female journalist. She says, “I could not silence my voice.”
With the fall of Kabul, Ms. Muhib, along with her husband and two children, were evacuated to Qatar, then Germany, and then arrived in the Falls Church, Virginia. She says, “it was a journey of a thousand stories and a thousand dreams.”
Ms. Muhib is currently focusing on her children to provide them with the best education possible here in the United States. She feels a long way ahead of them here in the United States.
Ms. Muhib is learning English through self-study and attending an ESL program with the support of the North Virginia Literacy Council.
She says, “our homeland has fallen, but our dreams stand tall. It is gathering strength. I believe that Afghan women will ultimately be victorious in our enduring struggle.“
Ms. Muhib is hoping to find some time to freely visit national museums, parks, and other places of historical importance here in the United States.